WASHINGTON - "It's a shame – a crying shame – that this election is going to be decided by a few thousand votes in a few states," said Dr. Allan Lichtman, the American University professor who has picked the winner of every U.S. election since 1984.
Although neither President Donald Trump or Joe Biden had amassed the votes needed to win the White House when we spoke with Lichtman on Wednesday he says he's not abandoning his pick, saying he still feels Trump's time in office will soon come to an end.
Lichtman says two things need to be concluded following the outcome of the 2020 election. First, he says, there must be a change made to the Electoral College. He noted that since 1992, only one Republican president had won the popular vote – George Bush in the 2004 election.
Second, Lichtman says it's time to do away with election polls. "Eliminate it. Abolish it. All it does is lead us astray. The pollsters do not know how to accurately handicap an election," he said. "They were wrong in 2016 -- and even if Biden ekes out a win – they are still way off the margins this time predicting basically a Biden landslide. "
Using a system of '13 keys' to make his predictions, Lichtman says that if Trump is ultimately declared the winner of the 2020 election it will be because the Electoral College has become more and more unrepresentative. "It has become so hard for a Democrat to win the Electoral College – almost impossible unless there is a big blue wave. I suspect Biden is going to win the popular vote by several million votes nationwide. But Republicans virtually have a lock on the Electoral College."
"Maybe it's time to retire my prediction system. Things have changed so much structurally – it doesn't work anymore. We'll see," Lichtman added. According to his system, Trump was poised to win a second term in office going into 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis. He called this election one of the most difficult to predict because of the sudden and rapid changes in just a few short months.
(NOTE TO READER: Lichtman predicted Al Gore as the winner of the 2000 election. Legal battles lasted 36 days after Election Day with the Supreme Court ordering a halt to a Florida hand recount in December of that year giving President George Bush the victory. Gore won the popular vote. Lichtman stands by his prediction.)