Historian Who Correctly Predicted 9 of Last 10 Elections Reveals Impact of Trump Conviction


A historian who has called nine of the past 10 presidential elections said it is far too soon to tell if former President Donald Trump’s convictions will change the course of the presidential election.

Allan Lichtman, a historian at American University, told Fox News that despite gaggles of instant polls, the real impact of voters will not begin to show itself until next month.

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

He said the convictions for falsifying business records do not appear to have impacted Trump’s base, but the real question is how much voters beyond it will care.

“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.

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Lichtman developed a formula in 1981 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 has 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 the system, he correctly called the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential races.

Will Trump win in November?

“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 said there would need to be many factors at work to give Trump a victory in November.

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

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He said talk of replacing Biden would hurt 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 do not often turn voters’ heads, 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 what happens from here on out is what matters.

“[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.

A Note from Our Deputy Managing Editor:


I heard a chilling comment the other day: “We don’t even know if an election will be held in 2024.” 


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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at
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