Originally Posted: September 25, 2016
A professor who has accurately predicted the winner in each of the past eight presidential elections announced that his model points to a victory this November for Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Instead of relying on the latest voter polls, Allan Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University, answers 13 true-or-false questions, which he calls “The Keys to the White House.” The questions are written to gauge the performance of the current president’s political party.
If fewer than six answers return false, then the ruling party hangs on for another four years, according to the model. If six answers or more are false, as is the case this year, then the challenging party will win.
“So very, very narrowly, the keys point to a Trump victory,” Dr. Lichtman told The Washington Post.
The model was first used to predict President Ronald Reagan would win his bid for reelection in 1984. By design, it applies retrospectively for every prior election dating back to Abraham Lincoln’s victory in 1860.
But this could be the year that breaks his model, Lichtman said, citing the unprecedented nature of Mr. Trump’s campaign.
“We’ve never before seen a candidate who’s spent his life enriching himself at the expense of others,” Lichtman said, describing Trump as “a serial fabricator.” Trump’s numerous shocking deeds include inviting a foreign power to interfere in American elections and twice inciting violence against an opponent, Lichtman added.
“Given all of these exceptions that Donald Trump represents, he may well shatter patterns of history that have held for more than 150 years, lose this election even if the historical circumstances favor it,” Lichtman told the Post.
Trump’s departure from historical norms was well-known during the primaries, when fellow Republicans urged him to behave in a more “presidential” fashion, as The Christian Science Monitor’s Linda Feldmann reported in March.
Looking all the way back to the founding of the United States, experts see no one quite like Trump – not even in notoriously brash seventh President Andrew Jackson.
Cal Jillson, a presidential scholar at Southern Methodist University, said Mr. Jackson had “a very individualistic personal style” but saw himself as “first among equals.” READ MORE