Contrary to the impression you’ve gotten from the political pundits in the mainstream media, this election isn’t going to be a sure win for Hillary Clinton. On two occasions Donald Trump has pulled ahead against Hillary Clinton in the polls, according to the Real Clear Politics average, which averages together dozens of national polls.
While Hillary is still ahead in the polls, this election is going to be a nail-biter for sure. If we look at the polls at the state by state level, Trump is only one state away from victory.
Nobody knows for certain who will win on Nov. 8 — but one man is pretty sure: Professor Allan Lichtman, who has correctly predicted the winner of the popular vote in every presidential election since 1984.He uses a system of true/false statements he calls the “Keys to the White House” to determine his predicted winner. And this year, he says, Donald Trump is the favorite to win.
The keys, which are explained in depth in Lichtman’s book “Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House 2016” are:
- 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.
- Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.
- Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.
- Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign.
- Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.
- Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.
- Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.
- Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.
- Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.
- Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.
- Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.
- Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.
- Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.
The keys are 13 true/false questions, where an answer of “true” always favors the reelection of the party holding the White House, in this case the Democrats. And 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.
Trump and Hillary will go head to head for the first time tomorrow during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. The announced topics are “America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, (and) Securing America,” and their performances will be the catalyst that tips the polls more solidly towards one side.
How will it turn out? We’ll let you know tomorrow tonight.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]