Election predictor with perfect record since 1984 says detailed criteria for a win favor Trump

While the 2016 race for the White House has no sure winner, one man has a pretty good track record of predicting presidential election outcomes.

Since 1984, Professor Allan Lichtman has correctly predicted every presidential election. This year he believes Donald Trump is favored to win, The Washington Post reported.

His method is based on a system of true/false statements that he calls the “Keys to the White House” which he explains in his book “Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House 2016.”

The keys, as described in his book, are:

1. 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
2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.
3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.
4. Third party: There is no significant third-party or independent campaign.
5. Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.
6. Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.
7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.
8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.
9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.
10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.
11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.
12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.
13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.


“The keys are phrased to reflect the basic theory that elections are primarily judgments on the performance of the party holding the White House,” Lichtman, a professor of history at American University, told the Post.  “And if six or more of the 13 keys are false — that is, they go against the party in power — they lose. If fewer than six are false, the party in power gets four more years.”

Lichtman has used the system to predict the outcomes of all eight American presidential elections from 1984 to 2012 correctly.

He explained that there are factors within each of the keys that affect the predictions like the question of a candidate’s charisma. “Another one of my keys is whether or not the candidate of the White House party is, like Obama was in 2008, charismatic,” Lichtman said.  “Hillary Clinton doesn’t fit the bill.”

Lichtman admitted that the Republican presidential nominee has made this year’s prediction challenging.

“We have never before seen a candidate like Donald Trump, and Donald Trump may well break patterns of history that have held since 1860,” he told the Post.

Yet, according to his system, Trump still appears to be the one who will ride into victory in November.

“Based on the 13 keys,” Lichtman said,  “it would predict a Donald Trump victory. Remember, six keys and you’re out, and right now the Democrats are out — for sure — five keys.”

Licthtman stressed that the prediction method is not a reflection of his personal views, as he does not appear to be a fan of Trump.

“As I have said for over 30 years, predictions are not endorsements,” he said.  “My prediction is based off a scientific system. It does not necessarily represent, in any way, shape or form, an Allan Lichtman or American University endorsement of any candidate.”

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