American political analyst Allan Jay Lichtman, who claims to have correctly predicted result of each US presidential election since 1984, will now try his hand at predicting winners of Indian parliamentary polls.
“I am meeting scholars in Delhi in the next few days to understand the political system here. We are going to try but there are big challenges,” Mr. Lichtman told PTI on the possibility of using his model in India.
Based on the theory of pragmatic voting, the psephologist, who teaches history at American University in Washington, has co-developed a system for predicting the popular vote result of US presidential elections.
Also published as a book, the model -- ‘The Keys to the White House’ -- has correctly forecast the popular vote winner of all seven presidential elections from 1984 to 2008, usually months or even years prior to the date of election.
Asked if the model would work in the Indian context, Mr. Lichtman said he was not too confident, as the presence of a multi-party system in India as compared to the two-party system in the USA makes it tough for predicting results.
“The Indian democracy is only a little over 60 years old. You have a multi-party system and incredibly diverse regional parties. These are very big differences when you compare it with the USA. I don’t know whether it is going to work in India,” he said.
Currently on a 21-day, five-city tour of India, Mr. Lichtman has already discussed his model with scholars and political analysts in Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad. His next stop is New Delhi.
America’s electorate, according to his theory, chooses a president not according to how his campaign is run, but according to how well the party in control of the White House has governed the country.
As America goes to polls to elect their 45th president this November, Mr. Lichtman has calculated that the incumbent Barack Obama will retain his position beating Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
“Based on my model I have been consistently predicting that Obama is going to be re-elected,” the psephologist said confidently while rejecting suggestions that the economic slowdown and rising unemployment rate will affect the choice of the electorate.
His formula of 13 keys comprise questions on the party’s mandate, its performance on issues of economy, policy change, social unrest, foreign and military success besides strength of the party candidate for the top post.
When asked what makes his predictions fool-proof, he said the model looks at the big picture rather than getting swayed at what’s going on in the campaign.
“The model looks at what has been going on in the country since the last elections. Plus it also considers the history of how we have been choosing our President since the last 150 years,” Mr. Lichtman explained.