I’m talking about political historian Allan Lichtman (who is pictured) who has predicted every presidential election correctly since 1980.

The * in the title is for the 2000 election when Lichtman, using his “13 keys to the White House”, predicted Al Gore the winner. Obviously, George W. Bush was eventually declared the winner but Licthman is given a pass. It’s not because Gore won the popular vote but lost the electoral; that actually happens fairly often. The one hiccup in an otherwise perfect record is overlooked because the Florida results were eventually decided by the Supreme Court and there are many historians and analyst who STILL argue that Gore was the actual winner.

Fine. So Lichtman has a great record, whether it’s actually perfect or not. Do a Google search for “Allan Lictman” and you’ll see results going back to summer and fall of 2016 in which Lichtman predicts that Trump has it sewn up. Those stories usually include a paragraph that says something along the lines of, “Well, I guess that “perfect” record is about to fall because THIS yahoo thinks TRUMP is going to win?!?!”

The background of his election-predictin’ method comes from an odd source: seismologists trying to predict earthquakes in Soviet-era Russia. In the early 1980s Lichtman became familiar with a Russian named Vladimir Keilis-Borok. Vlad was a geophysicist and seismologist who was trying to work out a method to accurately predict earthquakes. He never accomplished his goal as evidenced by the fact that earthquakes continue to happen and they are as unexpected as they’ve always been. But, inspired by Keilis-Borok’s work, Lichtman came to a realization: you don’t look for an earthquake. You look for the conditions RIPE for an earthquake.

Analyzing the history of U.S. presidential elections, LIchtman came up with his list of 13 conditions. It doesn’t matter who the candidate is; answer the questions and get your answer. If you get more “trues” than “falses” the incumbent party will hold on to the office. If “false” is the more common answer, get ready to change the locks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The questions are straightforward: is the short-term economy strong? Has the incumbent been untainted by a major scandal? Is there no significant social unrest during the previous term? After answering the questions, Allan Lichtman has a prediction for 2020:

In summary (or if you didn’t watch the video) Professor Lichtman has Trump losing the election…but just barely. If only one of the keys had gone the other way, Trump would be predicted to win. Lichtman said that NEITHER Trump nor Biden are “charismatic”…but, how is he so sure? It seems more like a subjective judgement call. I may not find Trump to be especially charismatic but millions of his fans do. And it’s not like “charismatic” can only mean “good”. Most great leaders have charisma but so do most cult leaders and most of history’s most notorious villains. Also, though I’ve never met him, people who have say that Joe Biden is the type of guy who “really fills up any room he’s in with his personality”…in other words, Joe’s charismatic.

So, in keeping with the theme of 2020…”awfulness”…the 2020 election may come down to a choice of which elderly man who’s probably not as sharp as they were 20 years ago has more charisma. Thanks a lot, 2020. You suck.

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