Allan Lichtman is a professor at American University who has “correctly” predicted the winners of the United States Presidential elections since 1984. Correctly is in quotes because he predicted Al Gore would win in 2000 when he only won the popular vote, and not the 270 votes needed to secure the electoral college. Regardless, he has a pretty good track record in the last 40 years. He made his official prediction for this upcoming November election yesterday and believes that Joe Biden will take the White House and officially remove the incumbent, Donald Trump, out of office.
He uses 13 categories to decide his pick and believes that his system is the foolproof way in picking the next President. You can watch his explanation here.
The deciding factor that came into play for this choice came down to Trump’s charisma as a candidate. Charisma is supposed to be the only subjective category in the model. He states that although Trump is a great entertainer, he isn’t good at connecting with voters in a charismatic, unifying way. He claims that category as false, so he gives the point to Biden which ultimately gives him the majority in his model. So basically, he’s laying his pick on his own mental acuity to determine how the American voters view Donald Trump. I guess that’s why it is only a prediction.
I can’t say I disagree with a majority of his analysis. But, there is one category that I just don’t see how he gives to Biden. He said that Trump’s Presidency hasn’t had any big foreign military successes. It is pretty easy to refute that. I think taking out the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is a huge victory for both our national and global security. Also, killing Qassem Soleimani was a win in foreign military intervention. The US even set out a successful operation to kill Osama Bin Laden’s son. Those are 3 pretty big counter terrorism steps that one could reasonably argue are not only wins for America and our military, but also in this circumstance Trump’s chance at re-election. As Trump has repeatedly said, the US has successfully destroyed the Caliphate. Our military is best when it’s a force for global good, and I think it has been in the last 3 years.
This doesn’t even include the domestic military maneuvers to send Navy ships to New York and California in helping control the early outbreaks of the coronavirus pandemic. These ships, along with building field hospitals, helped save our hospital system and provide great relief to our frontline nurses and doctors.
So to be honest, I have no idea why this guy is saying we’ve had no military successes. The only reasonings I can think of is that he hasn’t been paying attention or the Trump campaign has done a poor job in messaging and marketing these victories. I think it has more to do with the latter. Yes, the pandemic is still here, but our hospital system has stood firm. And from a military standpoint, the US has been a strong, seemingly responsible presence against our enemies. Maybe the Trump campaign needs to do a better job branding his foreign policy to appeal to the uninformed voter.
That’s my take away from this prediction model but the other categories are pretty much either a statement of fact or just subjective opinion. Also, this model has never endured a global pandemic in seeing how voters will respond to an economy that was pretty much turned off only to be tried to turn on again. Because so much can change between now and the election, I find it strange that this guy made his prediction 3 months before the election. We’ve seen in this fast changing news cycle, anything can happen.
Now, this isn’t me saying I think Trump is going to win. If I were to check the boxes on this particular model, then I would lean towards the incumbent because of the categories laid out before me. Regardless, the one thing we all can predict is this will be a very close election. From my viewpoint, it is still very much up in the air.
Freedom will prevail, though, it’s just up to us to pave that path.