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Political prophet who correctly predicted every presidential election since 1984 says Iran is trouble for Trump

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Allan Lichtman is a political historian at American University and the author of “The Keys to the White House,” a system that has helped him correctly predict the last nine presidential elections. He spoke with Salon over the weekend about how President Trump’s startling decision to assassinate Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani will hurt him in the 2020 presidential election.First, a quick explanation about Lichtman’s system: He has identified 13 “keys,” a series of true-or-false statements which anticipate whether the incumbent party’s presidential candidate will be elected in a given year. If six or more of the statements are false, the incumbent candidate will lose; if fewer than six are false, he or she will win. While Lichtman’s system is somewhat complicated by elections where there is a split between the popular vote and the Electoral College results (as happened in 2000 and 2016), it has proved quite durable, successfully anticipating election outcomes since 1984. Its criteria include:

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1. Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections.

2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.

3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.

4. Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign.

5. Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.

6. Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.

7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.

8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.

9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.

10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.

11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.

12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.

13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.

“One, nine and 12 [are] locked in against [Trump],” Lichtman told Salon by email. “Six for. Many others are fluid either way, although I am sill hard pressed to see Trump securing either Key 10 or 11.”

When Salon asked Lichtman about the ramifications of the Soleimani assassination, he prefaced by saying that it was “much too early to gauge the political effects” of that decision. He added that at the moment he sees “Trump losing Key 11 on foreign/military success and likely losing Key 10 on foreign/military failure.” He saw the possibility that “Trump might get a short-term boost from the killing, which almost always follows from a U.S. military operation. However, I am hard pressed to see this leading to a long-term success and it could cement in the failure key against Trump if it results in significant harm to the U.S. and its interests.”

If the Soleimani assassination indeed has an anti-Trump rebound effect that would mean that five of the 13 questions are “false.” Many of the remaining variables are beyond the control of anyone besides Trump and the Republicans, but Democrats could lock in a sixth key against Trump by nominating a candidate who is charismatic and/or a national hero. It isn’t clear, of course, that they have such a candidate available — although charisma is, to some extent, in the eye of the beholder.

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2020 Election

Trump attacks: Only reason ‘they’ don’t want to let schools re-open is to hurt my re-election chances

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President Donald Trump appears to be attacking Democrats, or the large number of parents across the country who are afraid to send their children back to school in the fall over concerns students could contract the coronavirus and get sick or die, or spread it to their families, friends, and teachers.

"Politics," according to the President, is the only reason "they" don't want to allow their children to go back to school.

In a rambling address at the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative, the President talked about "allowing those at lower risk such as young, and healthy – children in many cases the immune system is so powerful, so strong – but the young and the healthy to safely return to work and to school."

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2020 Election

Trump is cracking as his distraction superpowers falter amid the coronavirus pandemic

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Donald Trump is dumb — so dumb he literally suggested on live television that scientists should explore injecting household cleaners into people's lungs to cure the coronavirus. But due to what appears to be a serious and undiagnosed personality disorder — his niece Mary Trump, who is a clinical psychologist, suggests it's likely narcissism or sociopathy — Trump managed to stumble backwards into a strategy that works well with the 24-hour cable news ecosystem of national politics. Actually, "strategy" may be too strong a word, but it's inarguable that Trump's short attention span, impulsive nature and all-consuming corruption have meant a constant deluge of scandals and outrages, with each one knocking the last one out of the headlines.

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2020 Election

‘Absolute immunity:’ Kayleigh McEnany claims Trump has monarch-like powers despite Supreme Court ruling

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday said that President Donald Trump continues to believe that he has "absolute immunity" from prosecution despite a Supreme Court ruling that said otherwise.

At a White House briefing, McEnany argued that a high court ruling which gives prosecutors the right to subpoena Trump's financial records is actually a "win for the president."

"The president was making general point about deference and on the principal of absolute immunity," she explained. "He believes there should have been more deference [to him by the court]."

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