Politico.com reports today historians give Sen. McCain little chance of winning in November. The story includes this:
“This should be an overwhelming Democratic victory,” said Allan Lichtman, an American University presidential historian who ran in a Maryland Democratic senatorial primary in 2006.(emphasis added)Does the name Allan Lichtman sound familiar?
Lichtman, whose forecasting model has correctly predicted the last six presidential popular vote winners, predicts that this year, “Republicans face what have always been insurmountable historical odds.” His system gives McCain a score on par with Jimmy Carter’s in 1980.
Following the 2000 presidential election, Lichtman served as the lead expert and author of the Democratic-dominated U. S. Commission on Civil Rights’ report on race as a factor in vote rejection in Florida in 2000.
Excerpts from a June 9, 2001 NY Times report:
A divided United States Commission on Civil Rights approved a report today that said black voters in Florida were at least 10 times more likely than other voters to have their ballots rejected in last year's presidential election, and it called on the Justice Department to investigate the state's voting irregularities. …At the time Lichtman was selected by the Democratic-dominated Commission, he said he was non-partisan and MSM consistently identified him as such.
[Republican Commission member Abigail] Thernstrom took particular issue with a sentence in the report that, by the way it was worded, suggested that someone other than voters themselves were responsible for their spoiled ballots.
The sentence read: ''Persons living in a county with a substantial African-American or people-of-color population are more likely to have their vote spoiled or discounted than persons living in the rest of Florida.''
''Is there a spoiler out there?'' she asked. ''If voters themselves are the source of the errors, you don't have disparate impact.'' She said that factors like illiteracy and lack of familiarity with the voting system could have caused the voting problems.
Allan J. Lichtman, a history professor at American University and an elections expert who prepared the report's statistical analysis, said he had been asked to determine whether there were disparities, not whether they were intentional. He said he had come to the task a skeptic and was ''amazed and shocked'' to find vast differences.
He said ballots cast by blacks were rejected at a rate of 14.4 percent and those cast by nonblacks were rejected at a rate of 1.6 percent.
He said that factors other than voter error, such as poorly trained poll workers, bad equipment and less money devoted to elections, could have accounted for the disparities. ...
I suppose it’s possible that in 2001 Lichtman and the Dems who hired him at taxpayers’ expense really believed he’d be non-partisan when gathering, assessing and interpreting vote data; and that it was only after all his work for the Commission was done that Lichtman developed the partisan intensity needed to seek a Democratic Senate nomination in Maryland.
But I doubt it.
The Politico.com report's here; the NYT's report's here.