On the re-election of Trump, impeachment and Russia: forecast of a political scientist who predicted the outcome of 9 US presidential elections
Allan Likhtman is the author of the 13 Keys to the White House system. Together with the Soviet biophysicist Vladimir Keilis-Borok, he managed to develop a system that, over the past 36 years, accurately predicted the outcome of nine presidential elections in the United States, writes "Voice of America".
According to this model, the personality of the presidential candidate is practically irrelevant. Most importantly, how well the party, whose representative is the White House, copes with its responsibilities. Evaluation of the results of the party’s actions is carried out according to 13 criteria, and if 6 of them are unsatisfactory, then the representative of another party will occupy the White House.
How do opinion polls reflect reality?
In general, they are not relevant. Opinion polls can be used, but they are not predictors. With their help, you can capture only a certain period of time, but they will immediately change. In addition, sociologists do not know exactly which of the respondents will actually vote.
You correctly predicted the outcome of the 9th presidential election and the impeachment of the president even before he was elected. According to your 13-factor model, an opposition party presidential candidate will be elected if the party whose representative is the White House has unsatisfactorily fulfilled its responsibilities in 6 of 13 points. But what about the presidential candidates themselves? How important is their personality, charisma? What about debates, political campaigns, slogans, advertising?
All that you hear every day from the media: opinion polls, debates, political advertising, fundraising campaigns, are not relevant to the presidential election. The presidential election is, in fact, an assessment of the activities of the party, whose representative is the White House. And the party that is trying to win the White House can do little about it. Only 2 out of 13 factors in my model relate to personality.
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How do you feel about the concept of “chance to be elected”? They recently published an article in which they wrote that Bernie Sanders has a chance to be elected to the presidency. Why are voters so concerned about this issue? What does this chance mean?
I would remove only one concept from the political vocabulary - "the chance to be elected." At the initial stages, it is completely impossible to predict who will have this chance. And what at first glance has to do with this - ideology, for example - does not carry any analytical value. The presidential election is an assessment of the activities of the party, whose representative currently occupies the White House. The identity of the candidate is irrelevant. There are exceptions once a generation. For Democrats, this was Franklin Roosevelt, and for Republicans, Ronald Reagan. For decades, Democrats have tried to piece the puzzle together by nominating candidates like Joe Biden. They nominated Michael Dukakis in 1988, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2016. What do they have in common? They all lost. And unexpected candidates like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama won.
How does a party represented by the White House manage their responsibilities? Who is more likely to win this election?
Everything could still change. In order for the party that occupies the White House to leave it, it must lose on 6 out of 13 factors. At the moment, Republican Donald Trump has a 4 or 5. Not enough to lose, but things could change as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. A record fall in the stock markets, the possibility of a recession - these events do not allow us to announce the final withdrawal right now.
How do you feel about reports that Russia supports one of the possible Democratic candidates for president, Bernie Sanders?
I think this is actually the case. But Sanders is not supported to lead him to victory. They want Trump to be re-elected. Undoubtedly, they provided strong support to Trump in 2016, and he, in turn, gave them good reason to do it again. I think they support Bernie Sanders for the same reasons that Donald Trump wanted Ukraine to slander Joe Biden. They think Bernie Sanders is the weakest candidate Trump can compete with. But it doesn't matter: there is no difference in who challenges Trump. The election will be a referendum for or against Trump. It doesn't matter who it is: Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.
And how will a changing American voter influence the results? In the next US election, a record number of Hispanics will vote. Do such changes somehow affect the result?
My model does not work based on demographics. Its principles also apply to 1860, when women and African Americans did not participate in the elections. My European ancestors were not here yet. Most Asian Americans were not there either. The model also experienced more significant demographic, political and economic changes in America and remained relevant. I do not change her categories. Point.
The only time you made a mistake in 2000. You predicted Al Gore’s victory in the presidential election. The president was George W. Bush. You called the presidential election stolen because the votes of 50 African Americans were not counted. Then the factor influencing the outcome was the suppression of selective activity. Can unexpected variables affect your model this year? For example, foreign intervention or the activities of technology companies?
My system is very reliable. I designed it so that it applies to all elections, starting in 1860, when Abraham Lincoln was elected. Since 1984, she has been able to predict the outcome of all elections. The only thing my system does not take into account is foreign intervention. We do not know how extensive will be the participation of Russia in the US elections on behalf of Donald Trump. But I’m sure that they will do it, but on what scale and how effective, I don’t know yet. And another question: will voting machines be vulnerable to hackers. Unfortunately, my system does not take this into account.
In your book, The Case of Impeachment, you predicted a quick and decisive impeachment for the current US president. You stated that Republicans and Democrats will not tolerate a traitorous president. The Senate acquitted Donald Trump under articles of impeachment, and Mitt Romney was the only Republican to vote against the incumbent.
There are two reasons for this. First, Russia did not become the subject of impeachment. As I wrote in my book, if it would be proven that Trump became an accomplice of Russian interference in the elections, the result would be different. Secondly, Republicans provide far more support to Trump than I could have imagined. But the reason is simple: Donald Trump defeated everything that the party called its moral principles. And this is responsibility for their actions, God, budgetary restrictions, state rights, the limited role of government, God, respect for traditional democratic institutions, God. Republicans have no ideological basis other than the cult of personality of President Trump. And since they want to stay in power, they have no other choice.
Donald Trump's approval rating rose after the impeachment process and subsequent acquittal of the president by the Senate. It turns out that this only benefited the Republican Party?
Due to the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998, Democrats lost several seats in the House of Representatives. At the same time, President Bill Clinton's approval rating has increased. 2000 was a victorious year for the Republicans - George W. Bush was elected president. In the absence of impeachment, nothing would have hurt the Democrats to win, as this was a time of peace, economic prosperity and international calm.
What does impeachment mean for Donald Trump and the Republicans?
Impeachment is a stain on Donald Trump's presidency, a stain on his presidential legacy. As Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi rightly pointed out, impeachment is forever. One of the 13 factors in my model is called "Scandal." Since Trump became one of three US presidents to ever be impeached, this factor negatively affects his re-election. But this is just one factor, in itself it does not determine the result. But he could be critical in this election given the similar chances of Republicans and Democrats to win.
No witnesses were called during the impeachment trial in the Senate, and the president was acquitted. Is it possible on your system to identify this as a scandal?
This scandal is absolutely certain. Despite the fact that the Senate acquitted Trump, most of the American population is convinced that he abused power and also impeded the work of Congress. This is a real scandal.
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