Reader From Chicago is a long-time tipster and commenter here at Gates of Vienna. His analysis below looks ahead to next year’s presidential election, the primary season of which is already well underway, at least on the Democrat side.
Analysis of the 2020 Presidential Race
by Reader From Chicago
A U.S. presidential election is scheduled for 2020. The purpose of this essay is to determine in an analytical way who is likely to win.
I first came across the historian Allan Lichtman’s model for predicting the winner of the US Presidential election during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Allan Lichtman presented his model in books such as The Keys To The White House. He went on record predicting a Trump victory a few weeks before the 2016 election. I found that prediction interesting, for it went against polling and conventional wisdom that indicated Hillary Clinton would win.
Allan Lichtman has called every presidential race since 1984. For nine elections, he was correct all nine times. The way I see it: a person who only made one or two correct predictions might be lucky. Nine correct predictions in a row is like a fair coin landing heads on 9 flips in a row, the odds of which is 1 in 512.
Lichtman’s “Keys to the White House” looks at thirteen criteria, and if the incumbent party candidate fails at least six of them, the incumbent candidate loses.
Two of the criteria I think are too subjective. Also, it cannot be determined at this time whether some criteria have been fulfilled or not. We should get definite answers a few weeks before the election. However, it may be interesting to see where we stand.
|1.||After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections. The Republicans lost seats — and lost majority status — in the US House. Verdict: a strike against the incumbent.|
|2.||There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination. At the present time, there is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination. Someone like Jeff Flake might run, but it would be a flaky campaign. Verdict: Undetermined, but criterion likely will be fulfilled.|
|3.||The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president. Verdict: Criterion fulfilled.|
|4.||There is no significant third party or independent campaign. At the present time, I see no significant third party or independent campaign, but that might change. Verdict: Undetermined, but criterion likely will be fulfilled.|
|5.||The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. In financial news, it has been reported that the yield curve has inverted. A yield curve is a curve showing several yields or interest rates across different contract lengths (2 month, 2 year, 20 year, etc. …) for a similar debt contract. An inverted yield curve occurs when long-term yields fall below short-term yields. An inverted yield curve has been taken as an indicator that a recession will arrive. An inverted yield curve has occurred before recessions. However, it has been pointed out that there have been “false positives”. Verdict: Undetermined, but criterion likely will be fulfilled.
|6.||Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. If the economy continues the way it has, the Trump economy will beat the Obama economy hands down. Verdict: Undetermined, but criterion likely will be fulfilled.|
|7.||The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is a major change in national policy. Verdict: Criterion fulfilled.|
|8.||There is no sustained social unrest during the term. This is a criterion I find subjective. For example, Allan Lichtman did not think there was sustained social unrest in 2016. However, in my view the level of social unrest in 2016 was the highest in 30 years. One would have to go back to the late 1960s to find higher social unrest. As for 2020, there shouldn’t be much unrest. Verdict: Undetermined, but criterion likely will be fulfilled.|
|9.||The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. The Mueller Report found that the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russian government. It seems unlikely that something new might pop up between now and Election Day. Verdict: Undetermined, but criterion likely to be fulfilled.|
|10.||The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. So far that is the case. Verdict: Undermined, but criterion likely to be fulfilled.|
|11.||The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. The US-North Korea Summits had early promise but were not a major success. It has been recently reported — I will submit this as a tip to the news feed — that Secretary of State Pompeo is confident that there will be a third summit. Even so, I don’t expect a major break through before the election. Verdict: Undetermined, but criterion likely to be unfulfilled.|
|12.||The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. This is a second criterion I find subjective. Some might find Ronald Reagan both charismatic and a national hero; others don’t. Perhaps a President who met this criterion was Dwight D. Eisenhower, who during World War II was a five star general in the US Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. Verdict: Criterion unfulfilled.|
|13.||The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. The current and potential Democratic candidates range from being nuts to creepy, but none are charismatic or a national hero. Verdict: Criterion fulfilled.
In conclusion, the odds favor Trump’s reelection.