Presidential historian: Democrats' 'conventional wisdom' on picking nominee is 'all wrong'

A professor who correctly predicted the last nine presidential elections told Hill.TV that the conventional wisdom of Democrats when it comes to selecting a presidential nominee is all wrong, saying the party should instead support more “off-the-wall candidates.”

“The conventional wisdom — and you hear if from [Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJohnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Mueller report fades from political conversation Five key players in Trump's trade battles MORE [D-Calif.] and others — is we need to go down the center line,” Allan Lichtman, who is a political historian and a history professor at American University, said during an interview that aired on Thursday. “Nominate an establishment, experienced, proven candidate and they’ve done that many times.”

“Mike Dukakis in 1988, Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold Gore2020 Democrats release joint statement ahead of Trump's New Hampshire rally Deregulated energy markets made Texas a clean energy giant Gun safety is actually a consensus issue MORE in 2000, John KerryJohn Forbes KerryA lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair Trump's winning weapon: Time The Memo: O'Rourke looks to hit reset button MORE, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado Soft levels of support mark this year's Democratic primary MORE and what do they all have in common? They all lost,” he added.

Lichtman advised Democrats to instead choose political outsiders, citing former presidents Jimmy CarterJimmy Carter3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Trump spends big in Texas, raising questions about whether he's worried Here's how senators can overcome their hyperpartisanship with judicial nominees MORE, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBen Shapiro: No prominent GOP figure ever questioned Obama's legitimacy The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump tries to reassure voters on economy 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 MORE and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBen Shapiro: No prominent GOP figure ever questioned Obama's legitimacy 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Obama's high school basketball jersey sells for 0,000 at auction MORE as prime examples.

“It’s the off-the-wall candidates — the Carters, the Clintons, the Obamas — [who’ve] won,” he said.

The 2020 presidential campaign is well underway, with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE holding a sizable lead over his fellow Democratic contenders. 

Despite a string of recent criticisms from some Democrats, Biden boasts a 11-point lead over the rest of the Democratic field, according to a new poll that was released on Thursday.

Almost 27 percent of Democratic voters named Biden as their first choice, according to a recent Economist-YouGov poll.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden MORE (I-Vt.) came in second at 16 percent and another 11 percent said they preferred Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE (D-Mass.) as their top choice.

Biden was the only candidate to break double digit numbers in the survey.

—Tess Bonn