Allan Lichtman, the star historian who predicted Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016 against the predictions of virtually every poll, made big headlines with his new prophecy that Trump will lose the November 3 election. But in an interview I did with him a few days ago, Lichtman surprised me with several other bold predictions.
Licthman, who prides himself on his predictions of the winners of every US presidential election since 1984, told me that Democrats will most likely win the Senate as well.
He told me that he is not paying attention to polls, but to a method of 13 economic and political trends that he created. The candidate who has the most of these factors in his favor is the likely winner, he says.
When I asked him if things can’t happen between now and Election Day to change his prognosis, he told me that neither the upcoming presidential debates nor the selection of Kamala Harris as the Democratic vice presidential candidate will make a difference in the outcome of the elections. elections.
And Trump’s strategy of painting Biden as a “socialist” will not work, Lichtman told me. Biden is a moderate and has a track record of many decades.
Instead, Trump’s disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, recurring scandals, and growing racial unrest in the country will tip most of the 13 trends against the president, Lichtman told me.
When I asked him what would happen if he was wrong and Trump wins, Lichtman told me that it would be “very dangerous for the country. If Trump wins again, I fear for the future of American democracy. “
But what struck me the most during the interview was Licthman’s concern that Trump may try to manipulate the election by suppressing minority votes or invalidating mail-in votes. According to a recent ABC News-Washington Post poll, more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans plan to vote by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump is trying to “denigrate voting by mail, maybe even trying to hamper the post office’s ability to deliver ballots,” Lichtman told me.
But Lichtman predicts that Trump will hardly be able to stay in the White House and plead electoral fraud if he loses. If there is a constitutional crisis, “then the Secret Service will escort you out of the White House. His mandate ends constitutionally on January 20 and there is nothing he can do to change that, “he said.
I dare not predict, like Lichtman, that Trump will lose the election. A lot can happen between now and Election Day. But I agree with him that if Trump tries to manipulate the election to avoid possible defeat, the chances are that American institutions will prevail.
The reason I’m optimistic about it is that both the Supreme Court and the US military recently sent subtle, but clear, messages to Trump that he will not be able to usurp all powers.
Despite its conservative majority, the Supreme Court, which would be the final arbiter in a contested election, recently ruled against Trump’s request that New York prosecutors not be allowed to obtain his financial records.
And, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the highest-ranking military commander in the United States, publicly apologized in a June 11 video for accompanying Trump to have his picture taken outside a church with a Bible in hand after he security forces fired tear gas at peaceful protesters in Washington DC
For me, both events, which are not related to each other, were not so subtle messages to Trump that the United States is a country with separation of powers, and it is not Russia or a Banana Republic where the president does what he wants. I believe and hope that, if there is a post-election constitutional crisis, the institutions of the United States will prevail and show that this is not a country of strong men, but of strong institutions.
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