WASHINGTON - An American University history professor says he has been correctly predicting the winner of every presidential election since 1984. But he isn't using extensive polling, computer analytics or insider information to come up with his prediction. Instead, Allan Lichtman is forecasting the outcome based off of 13 historical factors or what he calls "Keys to the White House."
FOX 5 spoke with Lichtman to help break down each of these 13 keys, which take a look if these factors favor the reelection of the incumbent party that holds the White House heading into the election by asking if it is true or false. With only 6 "true" judgments of the 13 keys, Lichtman says his system predicts Donald Trump will defeat Hillary Clinton in the election this fall.
1. 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
"They had a big loss, the Democrats, in 2014," said Lichtman referring to the Republicans gaining control of the Senate while keeping control of the House of Representatives.
2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination - UNDETERMINED
"That one I have called indeterminate because it seemed like there was a contest between [Bernie] Sanders and Clinton, but he never took it to the convention. It seems a bit forgotten."
3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president - FALSE
"The sitting president is not running. It's an open seat. That is always tough for the party in power."
4. Third Party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign - FALSE
"The Libertarians traditionally get one percent or less, but Gary Johnson is polling way above that."
5. Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign - TRUE
"It's not in recession so that is a true."
6. Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms - TRUE
"The long-term economy is this term compared to the previous two terms. The previous two terms covered the great recession, so that one is a true."
7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy - FALSE
"During the first term, the administration had the Affordable Care Act. Nothing like that in the second term."
8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term - TRUE
"The hardest for me to call. Typically, you don't turn social unrest unless something like the 1960s where the cities are in flames. By a narrow margin, based on history, I called that true."
9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal - TRUE
"That has to turn only if it affects the sitting president. Obama has been pretty squeaky clean. That one is true."
10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs - TRUE
"That is something like the Bay of Pigs [Invasion] or Pearl Harbor. Whatever you may think of [President Barack] Obama's foreign policy, that hasn't been a big splashy failure like that, so that one is true."
11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs - FALSE
"There hasn't been anything like that in the second term like the dispatch of [Osama] bin Laden in the first term."
12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero - FALSE
"Hillary Clinton is not a Franklin Roosevelt or a John Kennedy so that one is false."
13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero - TRUE
"Donald Trump appeals to a narrow slice of the electorate, but he is not broadly charismatic like a Ronald Reagan or a Teddy Roosevelt, so I rate that true. The Democrats aren't facing a Reagan this year."
Despite these results, Lichtman told us he is putting an "asterisk" on his prediction.
"The first time ever I am putting a qualification on my pick," he said. "I'm not a psychic. I don't look in a crystal ball. I look at patterns and history, and patterns can be broken. They never have been broken before, but we have never seen anyone like Donald Trump."