Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University, says he has a certain formula for predicting the winner of the presidential race. He has 13 “keys to the White House.” If six of the 13 go against the party currently holding the presidency, that party will lose. Otherwise, it will win.
Since 1984, he says, this formula has never been wrong about the winner of the popular vote (with the caveat that Al Gore of course won the popular vote but not the presidency).
He explained these keys recently to Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report:
1. Party mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than it did after the previous midterm elections.
2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.
3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.
4. Third Party: There is no significant third party challenge.
5. Short term economy: The economy is not in recession during the