US election Nostradamus predicts formidable odds for Biden as Trump’s lead narrows

By Abby Amoakuh

Published May 3, 2024 at 12:44 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Welcome back to the latest edition of our weekly recaps, where we keep you updated on everything interesting ahead of the upcoming 2024 US presidential election. If you haven’t been following along so far, make sure to check out the previous recaps so that you’re good to go on all election-related news. This week, we’ll be focusing on the potential outcome of the US election based on current polls. This requires us to look into one burning question that is on everyone’s minds: who is Professor Allan Lichtman’s 2024 presidential pick?

Who is Professor Allan Lichtman?

Allan Lichtman is a history professor at the American University in Washington, whose claim to fame arose from his 13 keys model, which allowed him to correctly predict the outcome of nine out of ten presidential elections.

The only election Lichtman ever incorrectly predicted was the 2000 presidential election, in which Republican Texas Governor George W. Bush defeated the incumbent Democratic Vice President Al Gore.

Through the analysis of historical data from the age of Abraham Lincoln, Lichtman has crafted a predictive model that transcends conventional methods used by traditional psephologists (aka someone who studies elections and voting statistics). And this methodology has proved its worth time and again.

How do you win a US presidential election?

According to Professor Lichtman, the 13 key factors include party mandate (if the incumbent party holds more seats in the US House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections), contest (if serious contest for the incumbent party nomination), incumbency, third-party opposition, short term economy, long-term economy, policy change, social unrest, scandal, foreign/military failure, foreign/military success, incumbent charisma, and challenger charisma.

“I have not made a final prediction yet but I do have a model for 13 keys to the White House which have been correct since 1984—10 elections in a row—and the way it works is if six or more of the 13 keys go against the White House party (incumbent) they are predicted losers and if fewer than six then they are predicted winners,” Lichtman told NDTV.

According to Lichtman, Biden has “formidable odds” with the advantages of incumbency and a relatively uncontested primary.

What are Trump and Biden’s current polling positions?

The latest poll numbers show that Trump is maintaining a narrow lead over Joe Biden, as his hush money case begins. In the unlikely case that Trump will be slapped with a prison sentence in the only trial that could be concluded prior to the election, he would be precluded from taking office as president. Yet, a recent survey interestingly indicated that Biden would get no polling bump if Trump is convicted of a crime.

The 77-year-old would lose his one-point lead over Biden if he is found guilty of any of the 88 criminal charges he faces. However, this point would shift to undecided rather than the incumbent, the nationwide survey by Leger shows.

The former president leads the incumbent in several swing states, such as Flordia, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania, which could be critical to securing the White House in November.

Concerns about Joe Biden’s age and the cost of living are also working in Trump’s favour, although his mental fitness and ability to help the working class are also coming into question.

However, Trump still faces the challenge of winning over the moderate Republicans who voted against him in the primaries and favoured his opponent Nikki Haley. At the moment, it is likely that they could swing over to Biden, especially if some prominent Republicans throw their support in his camp.

As the margins are edging between the pair in the run-up to election day this year, the Democrats are definitely smelling some opportunity here…

And that’s a wrap for this week. See you for the next one!

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