The historian who has correctly predicted every US presidential election since 1984 has made his pick for 2020: Joe Biden. Signalling greater chances of current US President Donald Trump losing in the upcoming elections.
Professor Allan Lichtman, a Harvard scholar who teaches history at the American University, Washington, was among a handful of US scholars who predicted President Donald Trump’s surprise victory in 2016.
Where surveys and election forecasts fail political pundit Lichtman succeeds
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has already killed almost 170,000 Americans and infected 5.37 million, is preventing both Trump and Biden from running a full-fledged election campaign. The gap has been filled by the electronic media, with the internet taking the lead.
Read more: Biden, Trump to make nomination speeches from home?
Although in 2016, most opinion polls failed to see Trump’s victory, the absence of other means to gauge voters’ inclination has increased the significance of surveys and election forecasts.
And Prof Lichtman’s record of accurately predicting election results for almost 40 years places him in the front row of political pundits.
Historian Allan Lichtman's 13-point system has correctly called every presidential race since 1980 https://t.co/1ADiX0W397
— Chris Keall (@ChrisKeall) August 6, 2020
Lichtman uses a 13-point measuring scale to predict elections and key factors on this scale include strength of the economy, incumbency, contests, policy changes, scandals, social unrest and the personal charisma of a candidate.
History Professor Lichtman predicts Trump losing in elections
In an interview on a popular radio show, The Morning Show with Kate Archer Kent, Lichtman explained that while conventional polls focus on candidates, he concentrates on the record of the incumbent party. If six or more of the relevant factors favour the incumbent party, it stays in the White House.
.@NateSilver538, who was so wrong about 2016, misrepresents my 2016 prediction. In my 2016 Washington Post interview, I clearly predicted that Trump would win the presidency. I said nothing about the popular vote. I no longer predict the popular vote. https://t.co/UhwWxPdUGS
— Allan Lichtman (@AllanLichtman) August 5, 2020
In the interview, Lichtman said that in late 2019 Trump only had four negative points, but his popularity dropped rapidly during the Covid-19 crisis and the anti-racism protests, causing him and others to predict his defeat in November.
Trump’s “failed response to many crises that have arisen in 2020 has resulted in the most sudden and dramatic reversal of fortune in the history of the US”, the professor said.
Read more: Trump clings on to hope that “silent majority” will reelect him
“In the matter of a few months, three more keys have turned against the incumbent Trump. With seven negative keys against him, Trump is a predicted loser in his bid for re-election in November.”
Other opinion polls published this week also showed unfavorable results for Trump.
On Sunday, Five-Thirty-Eight, a website that takes its name from the number of electors in the US electoral college, estimated a 44 per cent approval and 50 per cent disapproval rating for Trump in this week’s polls.
Another site, Real-Clear-Politics, showed that in this week’s polls Trump averaged 43.3 per cent approval and 54.4 disapproval ratings.
Read more: Biden and Harris promise to “rebuild” America after Trump
A third estimate, by Huffington Post, showed Trump scoring 43.1 per cent approval and 50.9 per cent disapproval votes.
Even conservative Fox News, which strongly supports Trump, showed Trump’s approval rating at 44 per cent while his disapproval surged to 54 per cent.
China hopeful Trump will lose election: US intelligence
China has boosted its efforts to influence the US presidential election in November and wants President Donald Trump to lose because it sees him as “unpredictable,” a top US intelligence official said Friday.
“We assess that China prefers that President Trump — whom Beijing sees as unpredictable — does not win reelection,” said William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.
“China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China,” Evanina said in a statement.
He pointed to China’s criticism of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic, of the US closure of China’s Houston consulate, and of the US administration’s stances on Chinese actions in Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
“Beijing recognizes that all of these efforts might affect the presidential race,” Evanina said.
Trump enthusiastically agreed with the warning, which cast him as a threat to Beijing.
“China would love us to have an election where Donald Trump lost to sleepy Joe Biden,” he told journalists. “They would dream, they would own our country.”
Read more: Trump’s attack on Postal Service: a plot to undermine US vote?
Evanina said Iran is using social media disinformation to divide the country and hurt Trump, while Russia is meddling to damage the campaign of his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
“Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former vice president Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment,'” Evanina said.
“This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was vice president for his role in the Obama administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia,” he said.
Trump dismissed the warning that Russia wanted him to see him re-elected, claiming that no US leader has been tougher on Moscow than him.
Reminded that it was his own intelligence agency that issued the warning, he responded: “Well, I don’t care what anybody says.”
Evanina, the top intelligence official monitoring threats to the election, gave no details on the outside interference.
A strong hacking and social media campaign by Russia in 2016 is credited by US intelligence with helping Trump to victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“Foreign efforts to influence or interfere with our elections are a direct threat to the fabric of our democracy,” he said.
GVS News Desk with additional input by AFP and other sources