Allan Lichtman is a political historian at American University in Washington, D.C, and he’s one of the few who correctly predicted President Donald Trump’s surprise win in the 2016 election despite polling that showed Hillary Clinton was an overwhelming favorite to be the 45th president.
But Lichtman’s success in predicting presidential winners goes far beyond 2016, the New York Times reports:
“In 1980, he developed a presidential prediction model that retrospectively accounted for 120 years of U.S. election history. Over the past four decades, his system has accurately called presidential victors, from Ronald Reagan in ’84 to, well, Mr. Trump in 2016.”
So who does Professor Litchman see being the 46th president? He’s calling the race for Joe Biden based on several “keys” that form the backbone of his prediction model:
- Trump’s party lost the 2018 midterm election
- The U.S. economy is in a recession
- There is “considerable” social unrest in the country ever since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“Each key is a binary statement: true or false. And if six or more keys are false, the party in the White House is on its way out.”
“The pollsters and the pundits cover elections as though they were horse races. But history tells us voters are not fooled by the tricks of the campaign. Voters vote pragmatically according to how well the party holding the White House has governed the country.
“Donald Trump is a great showman. But he only appeals to a narrow slice of the American people.”
Of course, it cannot be said often enough, so it bears repeating: No votes have been cast yet, meaning the 2020 election hasn’t yet been won or lost by anyone. If Americans want to see change take place in the country, they have to vote. We all have to.
Yes, Professor Litchtman’s past performance on predicting winners is indeed impressive. But we have to do our part if we want to make sure his crystal ball is once again accurate.