Only 45 days remain until Election Day, and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a statistical dead heat in national polls, but that hasn’t stopped one man from predicting that Trump will come out on top.
Allan Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University, has used his own historical model that he calls the “Keys to the White House” to correctly predict the outcomes of the last eight presidential elections dating back to 1984. As for the 2016 race to the White House, Lichtman told The Washington Post that he can now predict that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.
Lichtman’s “Keys to the White House” are a series of true or false questions that are rooted in history — not polling — and apply largely to the incumbent party of the White House, in this case the Democrats. These “keys” are outlined thoroughly in his book “Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House 2016.”
According to Lichtman’s model, less than six of following 13 keys can be false if the incumbent party is to win the White House:
Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections.
Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.
Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.
Third Party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign.
Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.
Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.
Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.
Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.
Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.
Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.
Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.
Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.
Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.
Reiterating that it only takes six “false” keys for the incumbent party to be kicked out of the White House, Lichtman explained where the Democrats stand:
…right now the Democrats are out — for sure — five keys.
Key 1 is the party mandate — how well they did in the midterms. They got crushed.
Key number 3 is, the sitting president is not running.
Key number 7, no major policy change in Obama’s second term like the Affordable Care Act.
Key number 11, no major smashing foreign policy success.
And Key number 12, Hillary Clinton is not a Franklin Roosevelt.
One more key and the Democrats are down, and we have the Gary Johnson Key. One of my keys would be that the party in power gets a “false” if a third-party candidate is anticipated to get 5 percent of the vote or more. In his highest polling, Gary Johnson is at about 12 to 14 percent. My rule is that you cut it in half. That would mean that he gets six to seven, and that would be the sixth and final key against the Democrats.
While the keys to a Republican victory are by no means overwhelming, Professor Lichtman stands by them and believes that Trump will defeat Clinton. However, he noted that his keys “point to a generic Republican victory” and that Trump, with his unprecedented campaign tactics, “could defy all odds and lose even though the verdict of history are in his favor.”