A historian who has accurately predicted nearly every presidential race since 1984 predicts that President Joe Biden currently holds a slight lead over former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical 2024 matchup.
Allan Lichtman, a longtime election prognosticator, developed a formula that is used to make predictions about an upcoming presidential election, known as the “Keys to the White House,” which has been accurate for the vast majority of recent elections.
Lichtman’s “Keys to the White House” consists of 13 true or false questions, which he believes gives a strong indicator of who will win the next presidential election. Each question is asked about the two nominees. If “true” they are given a key, and if “false” their competitor receives the point.
Lichtman revealed to MarketWatch on Monday that Biden holds five keys while Trump currently holds about three, leaving five keys still up for grabs and enough room for the former president to secure a lead before November.
The keys, as detailed by Lichtman’s course at American University, consist of 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.
Biden being the incumbent president grants him one automatic point, and Biden was granted another key for not appearing to have any significant third party or independent primary challenge.
Biden was also given “keys” for having “real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms,” as well as implementing policy changes during his presidency.
Trump, meanwhile, has secured key number one, due to Republicans holding a majority in the House of Representatives, and key number 12, due to Biden’s lack of charisma. He also said that Trump could garner another point if Biden fails to have “a major success in foreign or military affairs.”
Lichtman correctly predicted both the 2016 election, where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, and the 2020 election, where Biden took the White House from Trump. He has accurately predicted every presidential matchup since 1984 with the exception of the 2000 election, where he predicted that Democrat Al Gore would win. In that election, Republican George W. Bush came out on top.
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