Lichtman Method - Presentation - Current Events


Third Saturday Seminar 2016-2017

Return of the Elders, Unleash your Wisdom
   Session 1

“Third Party Candidates”

Can a third party candidate win?

Disclaimer – This session is not to promote any candidate or party – It is for the  participants to share his or her observations aware regarding the shape the Presidential election campaign has taken  It has never been necessary agree with the facilitator.  The final exam is Nov 8, 2016

Saturday, 17 September 2016 9:30AM to 12:00 NOON

 Room B-102, Lone Star College - Montgomery
3200 College Park Drive - Conroe, TX - 77384 - 936.273.7000

This is the first session of the 2016-17 Academic Year. There will be three sessions in the fall semester.

Last Sunday as I watched PBS Weekend Newshour I heard this closing exchange between Allison Steward, the anchor and Jeff Greenfield, the television journalist who covers among other things, politics. Greenfield says that of five predictions he had seen, two favored Clinton, two favored Trump and one was a tossup and the race was getting tighter.  He also mentions a growing interest in third party and independent candidates.  And, finally he suggests that if a third party candidate were to share the debate stage, this would in the minds of the viewers, give him or her equal status with the major party candidates. Well, this is fortunate for us  because the possibility of a  third party candidate becoming president is what we will be discussing on Saturday and it gives us a good starting place.

Here is the exerpt from the PBS Weekend Newshour that I refer to.  I encourage you to watch it (5 min 27 secs).  I will screen in class as well.

For a candidate to win the presidency, he or she must win at least 270 votes!

What happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 Electoral votes?

“If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.”

But, how could this happen? Because both Trump and Hillary have serious negatives, and there are a great number of “undecided” voters.  The country has serious economic and foreign policy problems which have not been properly addressed by either candidate or party.  If no candidate wins the necessary 270 votes, and it goes to the new House of Representatives, the RESULTING MAJORITY of the new House will be a major factor of which candidate will win the deciding vote.  Trump seems to have alienated a large chunk of the Republican Party as well as most of the democrats.  However a Republican House might find Gary Johnson, a former successful republican governor in a blue state closer to their values.   If the Democrats win the House, Hillary might well have the advantage.  But Hillary was a Senator and reportedly comported herself quite well in that collegial environment, but that may or may not play so well in the House.  As Secretary of State she made several appearances in the House some of them very rocky (Libya). A long shot would be Jill Stein who is an uber-progressive, IF, she were one of the top three vote getters.  (She is on the ballot in 45 states +3 as a write in.)  Note the manner of how the House will conduct the election: Each state delegation has one vote.  (At the moment you might try tossing a three sided coin if you could find one.)

Then note that the Senate will elect the Vice President from the top two  vice presidential electoral vote getters .  Talk about potential confusion.

It is my perception that many potential voters are not pleased with the prospect of voting for either the Republican candidate Donald Trump or the Democratic Candidate, Hillary Clinton.  I know that I am one of the unhappy ones.  Mr Trump seems to miss no opportunity to figuratively shoot himself in the foot and embarrass the Republican Party and Secretary Clinton who drew the most amazing opinion from Director James Comey who after the FBI investigation made the announcement that while not recommending indictment he insisted, I think she was extremely careless. I think she was negligent. That I could establish. What we can't establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent."   That just the tip of the iceberg.

What is also amazing is that as egregious and uninformed as Trump rhetoric has been, he seems to regain his footing in the polls after every apparent self-inflicted faux pas.  Remember many of the original thundering herd of Republican candidates that started the debate process actually were able to beat Clinton in the general election according to many of the polling match-ups whereas Trump couldn’t.  Ironically,  he got stronger as each challenger left.

Hillary had few creditable primary challengers, but to everyone’s amazement Bernie Sanders continued to gain strength, till at the end he had almost half as many primarily votes as Clinton .  They seemed to be attracted to Bernie’s very, very progressive ideas like single payer health and government paid advanced education at state owned institutions. Prior to the Convention, Bernie passed his support to Clinton in return for her adding many of Bernie’s planks to her own campaign. 

Bernie has since gone on to create a new group,Our Revolution” to support liberal down ballot liberal candidates, however a majority of its staff resigned “after the appointment last Monday of Jeff Weaver, Mr. Sanders’s former campaign manager, to lead the organization.” NY Times 24 Aug 2016  

For those who like to think or work in numbers and are trying forecast the winner of the election, I suggest the following links: Many give you the chance of manipulating your own figures.

The website 270toWin gives you prediction maps based on data from the data bases of 10 different pundit organizations.  Note the spreads. Hillary goes from 348 to 270, Trump is forecast to pull in about 190 or 170.  I don’t believe any of these estimates believe in third party candidates.

This summary map on 270toWin at   shows Clinton with 246  voters committed or leaning, Trump with 126 committed or leaning leaving 166 toss-up votes.  The  map shows a potential for third party candidates, in that it predicts a liberal number of tossup votes (gray) giving the independent voter a feeling of greater power and an incentive to chose a third party candidate.  


This popular website  at the moment  gives Hillary a 66.3% chance of winning and Trump  33.6% based on theo “Polls-Plus” Model (today)

This professor has predicted every presidential election since 1984. He’s still trying to figure out 2016.
By Peter W. Stevenson May 12, 2016

Allan Lichtman says he can predict the outcome of any U.S. presidential election. He often does it months or even years ahead of time. Oh, and his predictions have been right in every presidential election since 1984.

But Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University, doesn’t use polling, demographics or sophisticated analysis of swing states. He makes his predictions based on 13 true/false statements that he says indicate whether the incumbent party will retain the White House or lose it in a given election.

Lichtman and Russian scientist Volodia Keilis-Borok came up with the keys — a series of true/false statements — in the early 1980s. The idea is that if more than half of the keys are true, the incumbent party will stay in power, and if more than half are false, the challenging party will win the White House.

The keys, which are explained in depth in Lichtman’s book “Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House 2016” and the above link.

You can try out his method yourself here.

Third Party Candidates

There are 29 “other” declared candidates” which include Third Parties, you may find them all at

We will concentrate on two which are getting the most attention, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein

2016 Libertarian Presidential Nominee
Former Governor of New Mexico


Gary Johnson

Governor Veto, as Gary Johnson was not-so-fondly known during his two terms as governor of New Mexico, has an enviable track record of success both in the private and public sector, an accomplishment that very few politicians can boast off. The fiscally conservative and socially liberal former construction company owner is seeking to build on his record breaking performance in 2012 by elevating the Libertarian Party to major party status in this election cycle.

More on Gary Johnson   



2016 Libertarian Vice-Presidential Nominee
Businessman and former Governor of Massachusetts


Bill Weld

There was a time when Gov. William Weld was considered as one of the rising stars of the Republican Party. He was a fearless prosecutor, and had an astonishing conviction record in corruption cases while serving as District Attorney for Massachusetts and head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. However, his ascension finally grounded to a halt in 1997 when one of the many toes he stepped on interfered with his Senate hearing as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. He’s launched a couple of comeback attempts since, but the marijuana decriminalization advocate’s nomination as the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential candidate is his first foray into national politics in about 20 years.

More on Bill Weld 


 2016 Green Party Presidential Nominee
Physician, Reformer, Environmental Activist


Jill Stein

Dr. Jill Stein, a Harvard-trained physician, has emerged as the favorite protest candidate of the progressive grassroots. Her stances on single-payer health care, campaign finance reforms and student loan debt forgiveness, and her refusal to accept money from corporate donors have resonated with millennials. Dr. Stein’s current polling numbers suggest that she is well on track to match – and even surpass – Ralph Nader’s performance in 2000 presidential election.

More on Jill Stein   



2016 Green Party Vice-Presidential Nominee
Humans Right Activist


Ajamu Baraka

Ajamu Baraka is an internationally well-regarded human rights activist and a far-left social justice advocate with experience stretching over three decades. He first came into international attention in 1998 after being invited by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Paris to attend an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

     More on Ajamu Baraka

For those who would like more insight I would suggest reading the following article from “The Federalist.”  It was written back in May and the author suggests, possibly someone like Rick Perry might go “Independent”  Well,  Rick Perry is busy as a contestant in Dancing with the Stars. But we have Gary Johnson-Bill Weld and Jill Stein-Ajamu Baraka

These Numbers Say A Third Party Can Win The Presidency” You don’t need a majority, or even a plurality, of electors to win the presidency. By Josiah Peterson , 16, 2016, The Federalist

For those who were serious about their  Never Trump hashtags (or who would have been if they were on Twitter), it’s time to start rallying for a third-party candidate for the 2016 election. A third-party candidate isn’t just a protest against the system, but a viable chance at sparing the country the disaster that would be a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency.

The Historical Precedent for a Third Party

Abraham Lincoln (whose accomplishments seem to be completely unknown to the Republican nominee) would take umbrage with those who say a third party can never win. This two-term congressman from a six-year-old party beat the sitting vice president and a two-term senator, former War secretary, and speaker of the House to be president of the United States with almost 40 percent of the popular vote and 60 percent of the electoral vote.

Thankfully, our country is not as divided as it was during the antebellum period, but the comparison between Republicans and the mid-nineteenth-century Whigs is less of a stretch. While Lincoln is in many respects in a class to himself, we don’t need to have Lincoln’s level of electoral success to win. You don’t need a majority, or even a plurality, of electors to win the presidency.


As usual, our world is still in “interesting times”  We will start the session with Current Events (Distractions)

·       Bernie still has energy and 12 million friends

·       Well, we now know who the major party candidates are.

·       Hillary it would appear has the numbers.  The Donald continues to double down on his tirades.  Are there enough angry people to put him in office.  He certainly doesn’t have much respect for the feelings or the concerns of the Grand Old Party

·       ZIKA funding held up, there seems to me more that we don’t know than what we do.

·       Deaths of pregnant women double from 2011 - 2015

·       North Korean Nukes

·       Syrian Cease Fire

·       Military Readiness

The General election will be Tuesday, November 8, 2016   Will you be ready? 7:00 a.m. – 7:p.m.

Early Voting: October 24 - November 4

Register by: October 11


Early Voting Hours of Operation (Harris County)

October 24 - October 28:

8:00 a.m.


6:00 p.m.

October 29:

7:00 a.m.


7:00 p.m.

October 30:

1:00 p.m.


6:00 p.m.

October 31 - November 4:

7:00 a.m.


7:00 p.m



Third Saturday Seminars – Fall 2016 – 3 Sessions

To refer to an ancient Chinese saying, “our world is in interesting times” and individual citizens are assaulted with a blinding array of propaganda from every conceivable source. The Third Saturday Seminar is about demystification of what is going on around us. Time will also be spent on current events.

Meets 9/17, 10/15*, and 11/18.    (*shown in error in schedule as 10/22, a change is being issued.)

Meets on Montgomery Campus in B-102.


17826 S 9/17-11/18 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. B102 Gibby



3200 College Park Drive, Conroe, TX 77384
ALL- Montgomery Links:

Academy for Lifelong Learning: LSC-Montgomery
Steven Gorman
Program Manager, Academy for Lifelong Learning,
LSC-Montgomery 936.273.7259

How do I register for a class? You can fill out a registration form and submit it to ALL:

         In person: LSC-Montgomery (3200 College Park Dr., Conroe, TX 77384), Continuing Education/ALL Office Building E (Room 205)
         Phone: 936.273.7446 ,Fax: 936.273.7262

Reminder for ALL members:
Please let ALL know if you change your address, phone number, or email. Call 936.273.7446 or email:

"Some part of our being knows this (the universe) is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us; We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."  Carl Sagan

See you Saturday, 17 September 2016 at 9:30am, Room B-102
Curt Gibby, Director,