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Almost 200 Years Later & Still No Change

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Almost 200 Years Later

And Still No Change

A lot of surprising and predictable occurrences have taken place in the history of the United States of America in trying to select a president. Some occurrences were more significant than others, but all were equally important in forming the great country that exists today. When looking back at history whether it was more recent than others, the past elections have all had something in common, the possibility to predict who would have won those elections. Even though this possibility was not apparent in the more distant in time historical presidential elections, today there exists a method of predictability that allows anyone to apply this method and predict who will win the presidential election. This method was devised by Allan J. Litchtman and is called "The 13 Keys to the Presidency."

For the past few presidential elections that have occurred in the US, Litchtman's keys have been very successful in aiding to predict the presidency. By using the 13 keys, the elections of 1808, 2000, and 2004 will be researched, analyzed, and evaluated to determine if the incumbent, gained by either the office held or party affiliation, could have been predicted to win or loose the presidential election. This will be accomplished by first researching each main incumbent candidate of the election of 1808, 2000, and 2004 and building a profile for each of the candidates. Within these profiles, the issues, interests, policies, beliefs, and electorate of the candidate will be acknowledged. Then a brief history of the campaign and election results will be observed within each profile. In the next part of this research, Litchtman's 13 Keys will be applied to each of the incumbent candidates per their respective elections and used to analyze the candidate and see if a prediction could have been made of whether or not he would have won the election. Finally, predictions will be made on each of the elections and a comparative study amongst the three elections will be done to see if the keys were consistent, accurate, and a good method to use for predicting presidential elections. Also a brief discussion of which keys are more important than others will follow this analysis, but first the candidates will be analyzed.

Election of 1808

James Madison (B.1752- D.1836)

4th President (1806-1817)

Party Affiliation: Democratic- Republican

As a House of Representatives legislator, Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, a constitutional guarantee of civil liberties, and fulfilled a promise to the Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788, which would be an esteem electorate for Madison later on in the future. Alexander Hamilton, who was a Federalist, envisioned a strong central government that would promote commercial and financial interests over agrarian interests. This was an issue that Madison did not believe in and caused him to break away from Hamilton and Washington to join forces with Thomas Jefferson and form the opposition party, the Democratic-Republicans.

During John Adams's presidency, Madison led the Democratic- Republican fight against the Alien and Sedition Acts, which attempted to subdue Democratic- Republican opposition to Federalist foreign policy toward France. Madison also authored the Virginia Resolution, which declared the laws unconstitutional. Madison would go on to serve as secretary of state for the elected Thomas Jefferson and support Jefferson in the Louisiana Purchase and the embargo against Britain and France. However, Madison was the official primarily responsible for the Jefferson administration's foreign policy. These were all issues, policies, and interests of Madison.

Brief History of Campaign

Madison went into the election with some doubts that he might not be able to win the election. Thomas Jefferson who refused to run for a third term endorsed Madison. Luckily for Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican caucus in Congress fulfilled his wish, although not without some opposition. Jefferson's embargo of all trade with England and France, which Madison strongly supported, had devastated the nation, and New England states spoke of open secession from the Union. The Federalists, convinced they would ride national outrage to victory, renominated their 1804 contender, Charles C. Pinckney of South Carolina. Meanwhile, George Clinton, who had agreed to run as Madison's vice president, consented to his own nomination for president.

At one point during the campaign, the Federalist stated that Madison had supported the embargo to build up domestic manufactures at the expense of foreign trade. While that was occurring, a strong contingent of anti-Madison Democratic-Republicans was convinced that Madison's quiet demeanor sheltered a strong Hamiltonian-Federalist (one who favored a strong central government) in disguise. Madison's campaign looked like it was heading downhill until Jefferson used all of his prestige and charm to convince dissident Democratic-Republicans, who had rallied around fellow Virginian James Monroe, not to stray into the Federalist camp out of spite for Madison. Eventually, Madison would get his campaign together

Election Results

By the time the Electoral College delegates made their vote on their individual ballots on December 7, few political pundits harbored any doubts about the election's ultimate outcome. However, the contests in Rhode Island and New Hampshire were still shrouded in some doubt. On February 8, 1809, congress finally announced the results and it came as little surprise. The reason for the delay was because the technology that existed today was not yet available and therefore it took months before all of the votes could be put together physically and then announced nation-wide. Madison had swamped the opposition. He won 122 votes to Pinckney's 44. The desolate Clinton garnered only six electors from his home state. Madison carried twelve states to Pinckney's five, all of which were in the New England region. The Virginia dynasty had remained intact and Madison had become the 4th president of the United States.

1808 Presidential Election Results

(17 States in the Union)

Candidate Party Electoral Votes

James Madison Democratic-Republican 122

Charles C. Pinckney Federalist 47

George Clinton Democratic-Republican 6



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