A year or so ago, most people thought that Donald Trump didn't have any chance of being nominated as the Republican presidential nominee. Fast forward to the present day, and he's giving Hillary Clinton a hard time in the polls, with a recent McClatchy-Marist poll putting Clinton just 7% ahead. In August, she had a 15% lead with registered voters.
And now, Allan Lichtman, professor of History at American University, says that Trump is probably going to win come November. Why is this important news? Lichtman has correctly predicted the result of every presidential election since 1984. And he's got a pretty solid method by which he chooses his bet.
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Lichtman uses 13 true or false questions, which he calls "keys" for his prediction. He derived these key issues by which the general public make their decision by looking at every American presidential election from 1860 to 1980.
Lichtman told The Fix that "the keys are phrased to reflect the basic theory that elections are primarily judgments on the performance of the party holding the White House. 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."
The professor went on to explain that Obama's relatively healthy approval rating of 58% won't help Clinton because he deems her to be less charismatic. He also believes that many millennials will defy Clinton's establishment politics and vote for candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. In fact, Lichtman laid out all the "keys" that the Democrats have lost to Donald Trump.
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.
Key number 12, Hillary Clinton is not a Franklin Roosevelt.
Key number 13, Gary Johnson is expected to get more than 5% of the popular vote.
Lichtman called Trump "a serial fabricator," but added that this trait seems to be working in his favor. "Even when he tells the truth, such as, 'Barack Obama really was born in the U.S.,' he adds two lines, that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement," he continued.
He added that Trump is likely to break "patterns of history that have held since 1860." Lichtman says it was that unpredictability that made this year's prediction so difficult. "We've never had a candidate before who not just once, but twice in a thinly disguised way, has incited violence against an opponent," he said. "We've never had a candidate before who's invited a hostile foreign power to meddle in American elections."
It's for that reason, that although he predicts Trump will win, Lichtman does suggest the possibility of Trump shooting himself in the foot somehow. "Nobody should be complacent, no matter who you're for, you gotta get out and vote," he pleaded.