According to Allan Lichtman, an American historian, President Donald Trump stands no chance of being re-elected for a second term during the 2020 election, rendering the Democratic Candidate Joe Biden the ultimate winner.
Professor Lichtman has correctly and accurately predicted the winner in every presidential election since President Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984. He had also predicted Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential race way ahead of the elections day, while everyone else was certain that Hilary Clinton would win.
In his predictions, Lichtman relies on what he calls the “13 Keys” system, which consists of thirteen simple statements, the answers of which are either “True” or “False.” These statements evaluate factors related to incumbency, personal charisma, the economy, foreign policy, social distress, etc. Lichtman states that the answers to these statements are entirely objective and not subject to subjective interpretation.
“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.”
Lichtman said in an op-ed video for the New York Times.
Lichtman continues his dismissal of polls as reliable predicting tools of winners or losers by noting that polls are “snapshots in time. None of this in the end has any impact whatsoever on the outcome of a presidential election.”
The following are Lichtman’s “13 Keys” model applied to the Biden and Trump 2020 Presidential Race, followed by Lichtman’s own comments in the Times’ video:
1. Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the House than it did after the previous midterm elections. False.
“Republicans lost the U.S. House midterms in 2018.”
2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. True.
“No Republicans challenged Trump.”
3. Incumbency: The sitting president is running for re-election. True.
“Doesn’t look like he’s stepping down.”
4. Third Party: There is no major third-party challenge. True.
“Despite claims by Kanye West to be running, this is a two-party race.”
5. Short-Term Economy: The economy during the election season is not in recession. False.
“The [COVID-19] pandemic has pushed the economy into recession.”
6. Long-Term Economy: Real annual per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the two previous terms. False.
“The pandemic has caused such negative GDP growth in 2020 that the key has turned false.”
7. Policy Change: The incumbent causes major changes in national policy. True.
“Through his tax cut, but mostly through his executive orders, Trump has fundamentally changed the policies of the Obama era.”
8. Social Unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the campaign. False.
“There has been considerable social unrest on the streets, with enough violence to threaten the social order.”
9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandals. False.
“As I predicted, Trump was impeached. Plus, he has plenty of other scandals.”
10. Foreign or Military Failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. True.
“We’ve had some very difficult moments with Donald Trump, but so far, true.”
11. Foreign or Military Success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. False.
“While Trump hasn’t had any big, splashy failures, he hasn’t had any major successes either.”
12. Incumbent Charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic. False.
“Trump is a great showman, but he only appeals to a narrow slice of Americans.”
13. Challenger Charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic. True.
“Biden is a decent, empathetic person, but he’s not inspirational or charismatic.”
However, Lichtman warns Biden’s supporters not celebrate just yet, as there are two fundamental factors at play that they should be cautious about since they might dramatically affect the outcome of the 2020 election in favor of Trump.
“There are forces at play outside the keys,” Lichtman said in the video, potential voter suppression and potential Russian meddling in the election.