US presidential election: the simple essence (?)

Following a disastrous first debate between Biden and Trump, he is down in the polls and many are calling for him to step down as a presidential candidate and leave it to someone else.

I understand and personally would love to see someone who is not an old white guy running. (I would also love to see someone prioritizing reducing our global ecological overshoot but that’s not going to happen anytime soon. For now, we have to go with the least bad option in these kinds of elections.)

I also don’t quite agree with the demand for him to step down.

This was one debate, and he may – and, based on other performances, likely will – do much better in the following debates. We are still months away from the election and people have a short memory.

More importantly, people vote on how the country is doing – especially the economy – and not so much on personalities and even less on a brief one-off debate. They vote on governance. And polls are very much not an election. (Polls are volatile and people tend to vote more safely.)

The historian Allan Lichtman has studied US presidential elections and developed thirteen Keys to the White House. He has also been able to predict every presidential election for the last four decades or so. (Apart from the Gore-Bush debacle which was decided by a court.)

According to these keys, Biden is likely to be re-elected, mainly because the country is doing relatively well. If the Democrats go with another candidate, they will reduce their chances of winning the election.

To me, that makes sense. People vote on governance, not on performance in one debate. Most people also understand it’s the staff and officials who do most of the actual work, not the president.

Because of the infinitely complex nature of the world, there will likely eventually be an election where the keys don’t predict the actual winner. But it does seem the best current system for understanding how and why people vote in a presidential election.

Historian Explains Why Dropping Biden Won’t Help Democrats – Wall Street Journal

Should Biden Run??? | Lichtman Live #55 – Alan Lichtman’s YouTube channel

Biden can ‘absolutely’ win the US election | Professor Allan Lichtman – Times Radio


It’s now a week later, and more and more Democrats are calling for Biden to step down. It’s one of the many things in the world that’s baffling to me. It’s clear that debates do not decide elections, and polls are not elections.

As Allan Lichtman has demonstrated over the last forty years, his thirteen keys to the White House do predict who will be elected. Why not go with the evidence? Why go with your gut feeling instead of a proven system? It makes very little sense to me.

As I see it, these people are doing the work for Trump and Putin. They are paving the way for a new and far more terrible Trump presidency.

They choose to attack Biden and (directly or indirectly) say he is unfit for the presidency instead of reminding the voters of how terrible Trump is.

As Allan Lichtman said in a recent podcast, Democrats Self-Implode. It’s not a pretty sight, and it’s difficult to understand why they do what they do.

Don’t they realize they base their approach on whims and unfounded gut feelings? Don’t they see that they are eroding support for whoever will be the candidate for the Democrats? Don’t they realize they are distracting the voters from the real issues in the election? Don’t they realize they are running the errand for Trump and Putin?

Here is a podcast from Reich on similar topics: Why aren’t we talking about project 2025 instead of Biden’s age 

UPDATE: It’s Sunday, July 5, 2024, the morning after the previous update and hours after someone fired a shot at Trump. This is the kind of thing that will bring naive folks in the US to support Trump. Combined with the self-defeating infighting among the Democrats, it will certainly boost Trump’s support. He will milk it for all its worth and use it to fuel his martyr complex and the victim complex of many of his white followers. At the same time, it doesn’t say anything about what will happen at the actual election, five months (!) from now. A lot will happen between now and then. I would say that Lichtman’s 13 keys – the fundamentals people vote on – are more important and decisive than these events.

UPDATE: It’s Tuesday and it seems that early impressions of the assassination attempt may be accurate. The one trying to assassinate Trump was a young man, a member of the Republican party, bullied in school, and likely severely traumatized and in mental imbalance. All of that combined with easy access to absurdly powerful weapons (owned by his father) likely led to this outcome. I also don’t find much empathy in the comments from his family members. I have deep compassion for him, and if this scenario is somewhat accurate, I see what happened as a symptom of the US culture more than anything. It’s a combination of alienation, poor systems for helping those struggling, and a(n absurd and dangerous) gun culture. The readiness to use violence is amplified by the language of violence promoted by Trump and many of his followers.

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