Professor who’s predicted presidential winners since ’80s says Trump won’t be a candidate in 2024. He’s probably right | Opinion

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Since former President Trump lost the 2020 elections and tried to fraudulently overturn its results, I have been skeptical that he will be able to make a political comeback in 2024. I’m even more skeptical now, after hearing the predictions of the man many refer to as “Washington’s oracle.”

Allan Lichtman, the American University political historian who has accurately predicted the outcome of almost all of our presidential elections in more than three decades, told me in an interview that it is “very unlikely” that Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2024 or that he will return to the White House as a candidate of a third party.

As for President Biden’s prospects, he told me that he wouldn’t be surprised if Biden runs for re-election, despite the fact that he would be 82 years old by the time he would start his second term.

Lichtman became a household name in political circles when he accurately predicted Trump’s victory before the 2016 elections, when all the major polls and pundits were saying that Hillary Clinton would be the next president. He has created a system of “13 keys” — 13 questions whose answers have allowed him to predict the winner of almost every U.S. presidential election since 1984.

When I talked to him recently, he told me that it’s way too early to forecast which party will win in 2024, but that Trump is unlikely to become the Republican candidate because, “He has too many other challenges facing him.”

Indeed, Trump faces at least 29 civil and criminal lawsuits against him or his properties, according to a Washington Post count. They range from a massive probe by the New York district attorney into Trump’s finances to claims that he instigated the Jan. 6 attack on Congress — plus defamation suits from women who allege he sexually assaulted them.

Worse for Trump is that, “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 feed,” Lichtman told me. That’s a lot of baggage for somebody to run for president, he added.

Granted, Trump will go on the attack and will make it look as if he’s running, but his resources will be greatly diminished, Lichtman says.

As for Biden’s first months in office, Lichtman says that, “He is governing incredibly well.” On a scale of one to 10, he gives Biden a nine, based on, among other things, his executive orders on the environment, voting and climate change, plus his passage of a $1.9 trillion economic-stimulus package. Biden has a more than 50 percent approval rate, something Trump never got during his presidency, he added.

As for the Democratic candidate in 2024, Lichtman says that Vice President Kamala Harris would be the obvious choice, but “I wouldn’t count Biden out.”

When I reminded him that Biden would be 82 in 2024, Lichtman responded, “There’s no precedent in American history for starting the presidency at age 78, either. But, as we know, precedents are made to be broken.”

I agree that Trump faces an uphill battle to make a political comeback, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Republican Party’s next nominee will be a Trump lackey.

Trump has turned the Republican party upside down. Republicans used to be the party that called for small government and free trade — and that lashed out against Russia’s expansionism.

But Trump called for more government spending — remember, he wanted to give $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans last year, when his own party’s legislators were advocating for $600 checks — came out against free trade and went out of his way to defend Russia’s authoritarian leader Vladimir Putin.

Under Trump, the Republican Party has become the party of white grievances. It’s no coincidence that neither he, nor right-wing Fox News are spending much time criticizing Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic-stimulus package, but focusing on immigration. (For the record, the number of unauthorized migrants is way below its level in the early 2000s.)

So, yes, we may be lucky enough not to see Trump back in the White House. But I’m afraid that Trumpism will be with us for a long time.

Don’t miss the “Oppenheimer Presenta” TV show at 8 p.m. E.T. Sunday on CNN en Español. Twitter: @oppenheimera

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