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President Barack Obama, in a Dec. 26 interview with David Axelrod for his “Axe Files” podcast produced by CNN and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, suggested that, had he been able to run, he could have won a third term in the White House.

“I am confident that … if I had run again … I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people.”


David Axelrod interviews President Barack Obama on “The Axe Files” from CNN and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, Dec. 26, 2016. (Photo: Gabriella Demczuk / CNN)

Fox News reports that President-elect Donald Trump fired back in a tweet: “President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY!”

trump_tweet_12-26-2016

The Presidential Electability Index (PEI) developed at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics (USPP), which has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996, suggests that Donald Trump would beat Barack Obama in a hypothetical presidential election matchup.

Research on the psychology of politics conducted at the USPP reveals that voters respond favorably to candidates who are outgoing (extraverted), self-confident (productively narcissistic), and dominant; and negatively to candidates who are introverted and overly conscientious. Based on those criteria, Trump has the edge over Obama, as shown by the PEI political impact scores below:

Donald Trump: PEI = 65

Scale:   1A    1B    2    3    4    5A    5B    6    7    8
Score:  17      9   24  24  0      0      4      0   0    0

Scale: 1A = 17; 2 = 24; 3 = 24; 6 = 0; 8 = 0

[Extraversion (scale 3) = 24] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 24] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 17] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (2 – 2) = 0] = 65 – 0 = 65

Donald Trump: PEI = 45 (dysfunctionality adjusted)

Scale:   1A    1B    2    3    4    5A    5B    6    7    8
Score:  15     11  15  15    1      0      6      2    1    0

Scale: 1A = 15; 2 = 15; 3 = 15; 6 = 2; 8 = 0

[Extraversion (scale 3) = 15] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 15] + [Dominance (scale 1A) = 15] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (2 – 2) = 0] = 45 – 0 = 45

Barack Obama: PEI = 28

Scale:   1A  1B   2   3   4   5A  5B   6   7   8   9   0
Score:  10    6   11  9   7     1     2    5   4   1   0   4

Obama: [Extraversion (scale 3) = 9] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 11] + [Dominance (scale 1) = 10] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 1] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (5 - 4)] = 28

—————————————————————————————————————————

PEI Scores for Democratic and Republican Nominees, 1996-2016

For historical context, here are the personality-based electability scores for all major-party nominees since 1996, published before Super Tuesday in presidential election years, with the successful candidate listed first:

 


 

Related reports on this site

Projecting the Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election: The Presidential Electability Index (Feb. 29, 2016)

Donald-Trump_Hillary-Clinton_Getty-Images
Getty Images

Clinton vs. Trump: Predicting the 2016 Presidential Election Results (Nov. 8, 2016)

clinton-trump_ap
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (Photo credit: AP)

Presidential Electability Index Predicted Donald Trump Win (Dec. 19, 2016)

sctimes_trump-win-prediction_featured-image

The Personality Profile of 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (Aug. 9, 2015)

Trump poster (2016)
Click on image for larger view

More » The Political Personality of 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump. Working paper, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, October 2016. Abstract and link for full-text (31 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/103/

The Personality Profile of 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama (Nov. 2, 2008)

Poster_Obama
Click on image for larger view

More » The Political Personality of U.S. President Barack Obama. Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, San Francisco, CA, July 7–10, 2010. Abstract and link for full-text (31 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/25/

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One Response to “Would Barack Obama Beat Donald Trump in a Hypothetical Matchup?”
  1. Aubrey Immelman Says:

    Cross-posted from “President Obama says he could have beaten Trump — Trump says ‘NO WAY!’” at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/26/president-obama-says-he-would-have-beaten-trump-if-i-had-run-again/

    The Presidential Electability Index (PEI) developed at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, which has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996, suggests Donald Trump (PEI = 45) would beat Barack Obama (PEI = 28) in a hypothetical matchup » http://www.immelman.us/news/would-barack-obama-beat-donald-trump-in-a-hypothetical-matchup/

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