Professor who calls every presidential race correctly: Get ready for President Trump

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Monday September 26th, 2016

Eight of the last eight, right on the money.

If you don't know the name Allan Lichtman, I can hardly blame you. Only the junkiest of political junkies consider him a celebrity, but he does have a pretty interesting streak going. Lichtman has correctly predicted the winners of the last eight presidential elections, and he uses a rather specific methodology to do it. Lichtman looks at 13 key factors to determine whether the party in power or the party out of power is most likely to win, then looks at characteristics of the two candidates to help cement his choice.

The Hillary-loving Washington Post interviewed Lichtman late last week, and couldn't have been happy about what he told them:

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.

Now that last qualifier is important. Trump is anything but a "generic Republican" and that might create risks for him that a more conventional candidate would not have to worry about - both in terms of Trump's personality and his lack of political or governing experience. Yet the polling to date has not shown that too many would-be Republican voters are shying away from Trump because of that, or at least that they don't think they're big enough concerns to risk a Hillary presidency over.

Earlier in the race, yes, but as the polls have tightened in recent weeks the race seems to be shaping up more along the lines of Lichtman's framework.

As we've been saying throughout this race, both in good times and bad, nothing is guaranteed and this race is going to be an extremely difficult one to predict precisely because so many things about it are not conventional. But Allan Lichtman is never wrong! At least he hasn't been in a very long time.

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