With the election only weeks away now, there is no lack of speculation on who will be the next president and how that person will find his or her path to the office.
And while online and TV pundits are more than happy to make their guesses, you might want to listen to a history professor at American University in Washington, D.C.
Allan Lichtman has correctly predicted the candidate who has won the popular vote for president since 1984.
Lichtman, according to a Washington Post story, uses a method that looks at 13 “keys” to winning the presidency, including how many seats the person’s party holds in Congress, whether the candidate is a sitting president and how the economy is doing.
Using those keys, which candidate does Lichtman say is most likely to win? Republican Donald Trump.
In Lichtman’s new book, “Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House 2016,” he lays out the 13 keys that he researches to determine who is most likely to win. The keys are:
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.
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 or independent campaign.
5. Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.
6. Long-term economy: Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.
7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.
8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.
9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.
10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.
11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.
12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.
13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.
Lichtman said the keys are true or false questions, and if six or more of the keys are false, the party in power (currently the Democrats) will lose.
Lichtman said he came up with the list of keys after studying every American presidential election from 1860 to 1980. He used what he learned to correctly predict the outcome of the eight presidential elections from 1984 to 2012.
Though he says his keys point to a Trump victory, he did hedge his bets for this year’s unusual election cycle.
“So very, very narrowly, the keys point to a Trump victory," Lichtman told The Washington Post. "But I would say, more to the point, they point to a generic Republican victory, because I believe that given the unprecedented nature of the Trump candidacy and Trump himself, he could defy all odds and lose even though the verdict of history is in his favor. So this would also suggest, you know, the possibility this election could go either way."
Update: The Washington Post asked Lichtman if, after the revelation of a tape showing Trump talking about groping women and his slide in the polls, he still believes the Repbulican candidate will win the election.
"By the narrowest of possible margins, the keys still point to a Trump victory. However, there are two major qualifications. And I’m not a hedger, and I’ve never qualified before in 30 years of predictions," Lichtman said.
"Qualification number one: It takes six keys to count the party in power out, and they have exactly six keys. And one key could still flip, as I recognized last time — the third party key, that requires Gary Johnson to get at least five percent of the popular vote. He could slip below that, which would shift the prediction.
"The second qualification is Donald Trump. We have never seen someone who is broadly regarded as a history-shattering, precedent-making, dangerous candidate who could change the patterns of history that have prevailed since the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860."
Click here to read the updated story from The Washington Post.