American University's Distinguished Professor of History Allan Lichtman is offering a tried-and-true formula that has correctly predicted every presidential election outcome sinceRonald Reagan’s 1984 re-election.Retrospectively, the keys model accounts for the outcome of every American presidential electionsince 1860.
A professor at American University who has correctly predicted the popular-vote result of every presidential election since Ronald Reagan's re-election in 1984 says former Vice-President Joe Biden is likely to take the White House in November.
Professor Allan Lichtman, a political historian at American University, who was one of the few people who correctly predicted Trump's win in 2016, said his 'Keys to the White House' theory will lead to a narrow Biden win on November 3rd.
Using 13 'key factors,' the 'Keys to the White House' system uses a true/false dichotomy to determine who will emerge victorious in November. The pragmatic voting theory considers factors like the advantage of incumbency, long- and short-term economic figures, scandals, social unrest, and more.
The Keys to the White House, developed by Allan Lichtman, is a system for predicting the popular-vote result of American presidential elections, based upon the theory of pragmatic voting. America’s electorate, according to this theory, chooses a president, not according to events of the campaign, but according to how well the party in control of the White House has governed the country. If the voters are content with the party in power, it gains four more years in the White House; if not, the challenging party prevails. Thus, the choice of a president does not turn on debates, advertising, speeches, endorsements, rallies, platforms, promises, or campaign tactics. Rather, presidential elections are primarily referenda on the performance of the party holding the White House.
"The keys predict that Trump will lose the White House," Lichtman said in a New York Times video op-ed.
Here's what Lichtman's system predicts based on his formula for 2020:
- 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. FALSE
- Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination. TRUE
- Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president. TRUE
- Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign. TRUE
- Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. FALSE
- Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. FALSE
- Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. TRUE
- Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term. FALSE
- Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. FALSE
- Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. TRUE
- Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. FALSE
- Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE
- Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. TRUE
Lichtman says while Trump has the advantage of being the incumbent and not facing a serious primary challenge, nor a serious third party candidate, the Republicans' loss of the House in 2018 led to his administration dealing with scandal - his impeachment, as well as "plenty of other scandals" Lichtman states.
The massive protests against racial injustice following the in-custody death of George Floyd is another key factor Trump loses in Lichtman's system.
"There has been enough social unrest on the streets with enough violence to threaten the social order," Lichtman said.
And thanks to health restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, long- and short-term economic outlooks also favor Biden taking over in November.
"The pandemic has caused such negative GDP growth in 2020 that the key has turned false" to helping Trump, Lichtman said.
Lichtman's model has also been used to account for the outcome of every American presidential election since 1860.
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