Allan Lichtman believes that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. Professor Lichtman is a political historian, author, who teaches at American University in Washington, D.C.
Lichtman is the brains behind The Keys System – which is a prediction method for determining the result of presidential elections in the United States. Earthquake research inspired it.
The system, which was created with the help of Russian scientist Vladimir Keilis-Borok, has accurately predicted which party would be the popular-vote winner since 1984.
The Keys model correctly foretold that George W. Bush would get a second term. In 2000, the system predicted that Al Gore would win the popular vote. George W. Bush got 50,456,002 votes while Gore received 50,999,897 votes.
The system has retrospectively accounted “for the popular vote winners of every presidential election from 1860 through 1980.” The Keys System does not take polls, debates, or the race of voters into account. Instead, it chooses the new president based:
“on the performance of the party holding the White House as measured by the consequential events and episodes of a term – economic boom and bust, foreign policy successes and failures, social unrest, scandal, and policy innovation.”
The Keys are statements, and the rule is relatively straightforward, when five or fewer statements are false, the incumbent party is predicted to win; when six or more are false, the challenging party is predicted to win. Here are the 13 keys that Lichtman used to predict the outcome of the 2016 election.
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.
Lichtman explained why he believes why Trump will win. He said:
Based on the 13 keys, 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.
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.
So very, very narrowly, the keys point to a Trump victory. But I would say, more to the point, they point to a generic Republican victory, because I believe that given the unprecedented nature of the Trump candidacy and Trump himself, he could defy all odds and lose even though the verdict of history is in his favor. So this would also suggest, you know, the possibility this election could go either way. Nobody should be complacent, no matter who you’re for, you gotta get out and vote.
Allan Lichtman took part in a 2006 United States Senate election in Maryland and lost.