Who Does Allan Lichtman's "Keys To The White House" Predict Will Win? Even He Admits This Election Is Unusual
Unless you own a time machine, it’s pretty difficult to be sure what the results of the presidential election will be. But American University Professor Allan Lichtman has correctly predicted who the next president will be for every presidential election since 1984, so you're probably interested in who his pick is this time around.
Lichtman is the author of a book called Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House, which explains his predictions. His system consists of 13 “keys,” which are true/false statements covering various topics, including whether the economy is in recession, or there is social unrest. The “true” answer always favors the incumbent party, in this case the Democratic party, and if six or more of the keys are false, the party currently controlling the White House is predicted to lose. “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 told the Washington Post.
So who holds the keys in this presidential election? Lichtman says it's a very close race. Currently the Democrats are definitely down five keys, for reasons including their loss in the midterm elections and the fact that the sitting president isn't running. One key is still sort of up in the air; Lichtman's fourth key is that "There is no significant third party or independent campaign."
In Lichtman’s book, if a third-party candidate is likely to get at least five percent of the vote, the Democrats receive a “false” key. And yes, a challenger has appeared. Lichtman predicts Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson will receive between six and seven percent of the vote. This would mean the Democratic party would receive its sixth and final key, thus disqualifying it from winning the presidency according to Lichtman's method.
According to a poll by ABC News, Johnson has five percent of the vote, while Clinton leads Trump by 12 percentage points. But other than while assessing third-party candidates, Lichtman's method does not rely on polling results, which he calls a "horse-race."
Still, even Lichtman has trouble with Trump, who has recently inspired controversy by calling the election rigged. “Donald Trump is such a dangerously precedent-breaking candidate that he could upset the verdict of history and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” Lichtman told Business Insider. He also criticized what he called Trump's "unconscionable attack on our democracy, claiming without a shred of evidence and a mountain of contrary evidence that the election is rigged against him at the polling place through voter fraud," in an interview with the BBC.
So, even the man who has correctly predicted the past eight presidential elections can be thrown off by an irregular candidate. While his scientific method does point to a Republican president, Lichtman admits that the election really could go either way. "Nobody should be complacent, no matter who you're for, you gotta get out and vote," Lichtman told the Washington Post.
How's that for a sign that there's still hope for your favored candidate in this election? If the competition is as close as Lichtman says, everyone should be out there voting on Nov. 8.