WASHINGTON – American University Professor Allan Lichtman, who is well-known for accurately predicting American presidential elections, says former Vice President Joe Biden will beat President Donald Trump in the November election.
Lichtman, a political historian who has correctly predicted the outcomes of all presidential elections since 1984, with an asterisk, was one of the few forecasters who projected in 2016 Trump would become the 45th president while also correctly predicting Trump would be impeached as president.
He uses a “13 key factors” system he designed to decide who will emerge victorious. It includes factors like the advantage of incumbency, long and short-term economic figures, scandals, social unrest, and more.
“The keys predict that Trump will lose the White House,” Lichtman stated Wednesday in a New York Times video op-ed.
Lichtman believes it will be a close election, predicting with his system that seven of the keys swing towards Biden, while six favor Trump.
According to Lichtman, Trump has an advantage with being the incumbent as well as not facing a serious primary challenger, nor a serious third party candidate. These are some things that hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, Lichtman predicted then, pointing to Gary Johnson’s third-party run and the fact she wasn’t an incumbent.
And just how the Democrats’ failures in the 2014 midterm elections may have impacted the nation contest in 2016, Lichtman predicts GOP losing the House of Representatives in 2018 could have the same negative effect for Trump.
The Republicans’ loss of the House not only gives Trump a zero in that category, but it also leads to losing another key: dealing with scandal, which includes his impeachment, “plus plenty of other scandals,” Lichtman states.
Lichtman also pointed to the massive social unrest erupting around the country through protests against racial injustice following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as a factor to potentially help Biden.
“There has been enough social unrest on the streets with enough violence to threaten the social order,” Lichtman said.
The professor also swung both long and short-term economic impacts towards Biden following economic collapse due to the coronavirus, explaining, “The pandemic has caused such negative GDP growth in 2020 that the key has turned false” to helping Trump.
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Lichtman also labeled both Biden and Trump as not having the advantage of being charismatic, deeming Biden the “uncharismatic challenger” while saying Trump is a “great showman, but only appeals to a narrow slice of the American people.”
The professor said Trump’s candidacy made 2016 “the most difficult election to assess” since beginning his predictions.
He also said “there are forces at play outside the keys” in 2020, including potential voter suppression and possible meddling from foreign countries, including Russia.
Lichtman claims to have accurately predicted the winner of every presidential contest since Ronald Reagan’s reelection in 1984. While he predicted former Vice President Al Gore would win the election in 2000, he stands by his projection, stating Gore won the popular vote while former President George W. Bush won the electoral college after the Supreme Court ruling.