Here is the professor’s explanation:
THE FIX: Readers can learn a lot about the keys from the previous interviews we’ve done, but let’s remind people of the quick version: Your system for predicting the outcome of the election stays away from polls, electoral college maps and candidates’ histories in favor of a more broad historical evaluation.
LICHTMAN: The 13 keys are a historically based prediction system that were founded on the study of every presidential election from 1860 to 1980, and I’ve since used them prospectively to predict, often well ahead of time, the results of all eight elections from 1984 to 2012. The keys basically assess the strength and performance of the party holding the White House. There are 13 keys. An answer of true on these true/false questions always favors the reelection of the party in power. And if six or more of the 13 keys are false, the party in power, the party holding the White House, is the predicted loser — any six or more.
The first time we talked, you weren’t willing to predict a winner. Take me through that process and how you came to predict a Trump win.
Early on, the keys were inconclusive. That is, remember, six or more and the party in power is the predicted loser. And for some time, there were five keys out against the incumbent Democrats.
And since that time, as we discussed last time, that sixth key has turned against the Democrats, and that is the third party key, and that is based on an assessment that you would expect the third party candidate, in this case the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, to get five percent or more of the vote. That’s a big sign of discontent with the party holding the White House. And so, again on the knife edge, you had exactly six fatal keys against the incumbent Democrats.
And remember — this was before the sex tape — this was before any of those allegations or other things emerged.
A lot of people would look at the events of the last month — the Access Hollywood tape obtained by The Washington Post, the presidential debates and the shifts in polling — and say, this has got to effect the keys somehow.
Donald Trump’s severe and unprecedented problems bragging about sexual assault and then having ten or more women coming out and saying, “Yes, that’s exactly what you did” — this is without precedent. But it didn’t change a key.
We will know in 11 days’ time!