Donald Trump’s chances of being the Republican presidential candidate again in 2024 are very slim owing to the “baggage” he accrued during his presidency, according to a political expert who rightly predicted his victory in 2016.
The claim comes from Allan Lichtman, a political historian at the American University who has accurately called the outcome of seven out of eight US elections in the last 30 years.
“He’s got $400 million-plus in loans coming due. His brand is failing. His businesses are failing. He has a huge IRS audit. He doesn’t hold office anymore. He’s lost his Twitter,” Mr Lichtman told the Miami Herald newspaper.
“That’s a lot of baggage for somebody to run for president.”
Mr Lichtman, a celebrated political analyst and a historian, has made predictions for every election since 1984. The only result he got wrong was in 2000, when his forecast of an Al Gore victory proved inaccurate – by a whisker.
Mr Lichtman says his predictions are based on a series of “13 keys”, or questions he uses to analyse whether a candidate will win a presidential election, which he revealed in detail in his recent book, Predicting the Next President.
As well as being one of the few analysts to predict Mr Trump’s victory in 2016, he also correctly forecast that the Republican would lose in 2020.
Speaking about what might happen in 2024, Mr Lichtman said that even if Mr Trump keeps on attacking the Democrats and stays in politics, his resources will be “greatly diminished” by the time of the next election.
He added that while it is still early, Joe Biden has started his presidency “incredibly well”, passing executive orders and bills on voting rights, climate change and coronavirus relief. Mr Biden has an approval rating above 50 per cent, he said, something Mr Trump never achieved during his presidency.
On the Democrat side, Mr Lichtman said vice president Kamala Harris was an “obvious choice” but added: “I wouldn’t count Biden out.”
Speaking prior to the 2020 polls, Mr Lichtman said his model forecast a Biden victory, and explained the logic behind it.
“In 2016, Trump was the challenger. I gauged that exactly six keys were turned against the incumbent party, the Democrats,” he told US News in October. “I said that this was going to be a change election – any generic Republican was going to beat any generic Democrat.”
Mr Lichtman said that despite maintaining a lead till 2019, everything changed for Mr Trump in 2020 “with the pandemic and the cries for social and racial justice.”