I write as one who has correctly predicted every presidential election since 1980 with the possible exception of 2004. This is not to claim special powers of prophecy for myself. Rather it is the result of a mathematical algorithm based on statistical analyses of each of the past twenty-five election cycles, taking into account the peculiarities of a system in which it is altogether possible that a candidate who wins the popular vote may yet lose the election due to the disproportionate power of states as tabulated by the so-called electoral college or, in extremely rare cases, the Supreme Court.
A value-neutral approach to presidential cycles indicates a perhaps surprising tendency on the part of the electorate. In brief, this tendency manifests itself as a loyalty to certain states of the union -- California, for example, as the most populous state, which has given us Nixon and Reagan, and Texas, as the "lone star" state, home of LBJ and George W. Bush..
According to the statistical formula devised by Peat Marwick, confirmed by Pete Runnels, and corroborated by Peter Campbell, with modifications introduced by pundits Arthur Buchwald and George Gordon, the state that is due, indeed overdue, to host the next president is the state of New York, which has not been represented in the White House since the three-plus terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932-1945).
The Roosevelt aura won him four elections but led to a backlash against the Empire State, which helps account for the defeat of Thomas Dewey in 1948 and the inability of Nelson Rockefeller to get himself nominated, as by rights he should have been, in 1964. The emergence of William Miller as the GOP's VP candidate in 1964 and Geraldine Ferraro as the Democrats' VP candidate in 1984, does little to assuage the feelings of New Yorkers who have come to resent Massachusetts as the home state of one recent president (Kennedy), two presidential nominees (Dukakis, Romney), and the Boston Red Sox. But denizens of the Big Apple need worry no more.
According to the rule of four-year recurrence, New York's comeback is inevitable. It is therefore an utter certainty that the next president of the United States will be a New Yorker whether by birth or by choice.
I am willing to bet a large amount of money on this prediction though I suspect that the logic behind my reasoning, if grasped in good faith by the Tattaglias and Barzini, will allow for no dissent.
Although the algorithm is the intellectual property of the Santino Foundation and cannot be revealed on penalty of a lawsuit, I will say that the principle of the four-year term, divided by the hundred years in a century, results invariably in a ratio of one to four. Ohio had its Taft and Harding, and now it is New York's turn to bring home the bacon. As Ira Gershwin put it, there's a boat that's leaving soon for New York.
NB: Minnesota, home of near-miss candidate Humphrey and landslide loser with dignity Mondale, may well be next in line, though Arizona (Goldwater, McCain) will put up a furious fight four years hence.
-- David Lehman