Did Nostradamus really predict the outcome of the election 500 years ago?

Polls and pundits have their predictions for who will win the 2020 presidential election, but the outcome may have been predicted long before Donald Trump or Joe Biden were even born. Some people seem to think that astrologer and physician Michele de Nostredame — better known as Nostradamus — predicted that Trump would win the election hundreds of years ago.

Per Biography, Nostradamus was born in 1503 and believed he had a gift for prophecy. He published a book of predictions called The Prophecies, which many believers think accurately prophesy past and future events. Those who believe in Nostradamus’ writings credit him with predicting such events as the French Revolution, the rise of Hitler, and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

It should be noted, though, that Nostradamus’ ancient prophecies, which were written in verse, were quite vague and lack any dates, leaving a lot of room for interpretation.

Why do people think Nostradamus predicted a Trump victory?

The imprecise nature of Nostradamus’ predictions hasn’t deterred people from interpreting his writings, though. Express noted that people have taken one four-lined stanza — known as a quatrain — to mean that Trump will win the election. The quatrain reads: “The false trumpet concealing madness, / Will cause Byzantium to change its laws. / From Egypt there will go forth a man who wants / The edict withdrawn, changing money and standards.”

One person who seems to believe in the prophecy tweeted that he thinks it means Trump will win as Nostradamus’ quatrain seems to predict that “America will be damaged by a fool ruler.” Another tweeted “Didn’t Nostradamus say Trump would win again…”

While some people may believe in Nostradamus’ prediction, we can’t be certain of the winner until the election results are in. As science writer Brian Dunning told Express, Nostradamus’ writings are typically only said to have proven an event after the fact. “How accurate are his predictions?” he asked. “You could fill a library with books claiming to match quatrains with major events in world history — all, of course, deciphered and published after those events occurred. The straight fact is that nobody has ever used Nostradamus’ writings to predict a future event in specific terms which later came true. Nobody has ever used Nostradamus’ writings to predict a future event in specific terms which later came true.”

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