Historian Who Accurately Predicted 9 of 10 Elections Reveals Impact of Trump Conviction

Historian Who Accurately Predicted 9 of 10 Elections Reveals Impact of Trump Conviction

A historian who has accurately predicted nine of the past ten presidential elections believes it is too early to determine if former President Donald Trump’s convictions will influence the presidential election outcome.

Allan Lichtman, a historian at American University, told Fox News that despite numerous instant polls, the real impact on voters will not become clear until the next month.

“We’re not going to know much until the sentencing hearing on July 11, right before the Republican convention,” Lichtman said.

He noted that the convictions for falsifying business records do not seem to have affected Trump’s base, but the crucial issue is how it will impact voters beyond his core supporters.

“We don’t know how this might affect moderate, swing, independent voters. So really, we have got to look over time and not rely on instant, unreliable punditry,” the historian said.

In 1981, Lichtman developed a formula for predicting presidential elections in collaboration with mathematician Vladimir Keilis-Borok.

“We reconceptualize presidential elections not as Carter versus Reagan, Republican versus Democrat, liberal versus conservative, but in geophysical terms,” he said. “Stability: The White House party keeps power. Earthquake: The White House party is turned out.”

The system involves 13 true-or-false questions. When eight or more of what Lichtman calls “keys” are false, the party holding the White House will lose it.

Using this system, he correctly predicted the 2012, 2016, and 2020 presidential races.

“The keys are an alternative to the polls, which are not predictors. They’re snapshots, they’re abused, not used as predictors. And the pundits, you know, who are a lot of fun, but they’re sports talk radio. They have no scientific basis for any of their predictions,” Lichtman said.

He mentioned that many factors would need to align for Trump to secure a victory in November.

Lichtman’s keys include: 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.

President Joe Biden has “lost what I call the mandate key based on midterm elections, because the Democrats lost seats in 2022, they needed to win seats to win that key. And he loses the charisma key because he’s no Franklin Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy,” the historian said.

Lichtman said keys to watch include whether independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. garners 10 percent national support; social unrest connected to anti-Israel protests; and Biden’s efforts in the Ukraine and Gaza conflicts.

He warned that talk of replacing Biden would harm the Democrats.

“With Biden running, he wins my incumbency key: sitting president. He wins the party contest: uncontested. Essentially, that means he wins two keys off the top,” Lichtman said.

“This nonsense about Biden stepping down points to the dangers of off-the-top-of-the-head punditry and commentary that is not based on any scientific understanding of how elections work,” he said.

“The keys provide a way of breaking the iron triangle of the political-industrial complex,” the historian said.

“The candidates themselves have to run different kinds of campaigns,” Lichtman said. “Campaign by the keys, which is, you campaign on your vision. If you’re an incumbent, what it is you have done and what you expect to do. If you’re a challenger, what’s your clear vision for America?”

He said his official prediction for this fall’s race will come later this year.

In 2020, Lichtman noted that treaties rarely influence voters, according to a news release from American University.

“I almost never turn a key based on a treaty unless it is of great significance and broadly acclaimed in the United States,” he said then. “Since I began predicting elections according to the Keys prior to the 1984 election, I have turned Key 11 for the White House party only once, for the monumental arms control treaty between the US and the Soviet Union during the second term of President Ronald Reagan.”

In an Op-Ed for The Hill, pollsters Douglas Schoen and Carly Cooperman argued that future developments are crucial.

“[I]f Biden fails to soothe voter concerns over his age and fitness, Trump’s convictions will be nothing more than a footnote. Conversely, if Trump appears overly bombastic and irresponsible, his convictions may resonate a little more in the context of his general temperament for office,” they wrote.

“Ultimately, this election will be decided by kitchen-table issues that impact Americans far more than it will be decided by Donald Trump’s legal issues,” Schoen and Cooperman said.

“And notwithstanding what Biden did this week on the border or in Normandy—changes to border policy have been too little, too late. And it’s unlikely, however moving and appropriate, that Biden’s remarks in France shifted voter concerns to issues of democracy and maintaining international order,” the pollsters said.

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