Allan Lichtman, the famous election prognosticator, is at it again. The American University historian has predicted nearly every presidential result since 1984. This earned him nationwide fame, and people are always eager to hear his predictions.
However, many people wonder how this works. Does he predict off the top of his head? Does he just guess? Or does he use facts to determine the outcome? The answer is a bit more complex.
Lichtman has a system that he uses to hand out “Keys to the White House.” The teacher came up with a way to predict the results by using 13 key factors. More often than not, Litchman is usually spot on.
The keys consist of 13 true or false questions he came up with. He strongly believes that these keys establish a strong indication of who will be the victor on the fall ballot. He asks the two questions on the dueling nominees, and the answer gives or takes a key. If “true,” they are given a “key,” and if “false,” their competitor receives the point.
The keys, in order, are as follows: party mandate, contest, incumbency, third party, short-term economy, long-term economy, policy change, social unrest, scandal, foreign/military failure, foreign/military success, incumbent charisma, and challenger charisma.
According to Lichtman’s analysis to MarketWatch, President Biden currently holds 5 of these “keys.” His opponent, Donald Trump, currently has three. Therefore, Biden is leading for now.
As there are still five more keys that he hasn’t given out, the odds can still tilt toward Trump’s favor. The current president got an automatic point for his incumbency. He also got another “key” for not appearing to have any significant third-party or independent primary challenge.
The democratic president also got another “key” for having “real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.” In addition, he got one more for implementing policy changes during his presidency.
Trump got key number one, “party mandate.” Litchman gives this to whoever’s political party holds the majority in the House of Representatives. In this case, it is undeniably the GOP.
The historian also gave Trump the 12th key, which is “incumbent charisma.” However, this automatically paints Biden as lacking in that respect. If Biden fails to have “a major success in foreign or military affairs,” he would also lose another point to Trump.
That makes three for Trump and five for Biden. However, many things can still happen before the elections in November. There are still five keys left, and they can go in any direction as the year goes on.
The public and media alike value Litchman’s predictions a lot, as he correctly predicted the results of the 2016 elections. He also predicted that Biden will win the 2020 presidential election against Trump. Therefore, when he hands out the rest of the keys and declares his winner, many will be seated to hear what he has to say.
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