Saturday, December 31, 2016

Predictions From 2016

Time to check how well I did with my predictions for 2016. (If you click on the link, you'll notice there are also some predictions in the comments section.)

Domestic Politics:

Hillary Clinton will be the next President, winning the Electoral College handily.

Like everyone, I was way off.  I do have a lame excuse.  First, she did win the popular vote pretty handily.  Second, I gave Trump a 10% to 20% chance of winning.  I know that doesn't sound like much, but imagine someone is about to roll a die, and says to me "hey smart guy, what are the odds I'm going to roll a 6?"  I'd respond "around 16%." Then he rolls and gets his 6, and say "well, I guess you're not so smart after all."

There will be no brokered GOP convention.

One for me.  This may not sound so brilliant, but remember a year ago this seemed like a distinct possibility.

The Trump factor makes my crystal ball very cloudy, but I predict Marco Rubio will get the nomination.  Further, he will choose a woman or a Midwesterner (or both) for his running mate.

This is correct--the Trump factor made the whole year blurry.  Otherwise, way off, though I'll give myself an eighth of a point for guessing there'll be a GOP running mate from the Midwest.

President Obama will make some very controversial pardons (though this may happen in early 2017).

I think I get this one.  He's not only made a ton of pardons, but has had (as I should have clearly predicted) a highly controversial lame-duck period.

No Republican or Democrat who has run for the presidential nomination will run as a third-party candidate (even though there are already rumblings such a thing will happen).

Once again, might not seem like a brave guess, but this idea, as I noted, was in the air a year ago.

The Supreme Court will decide 5-4 that states can't compel government employees to pay union dues.

The Supreme Court will decide 5-4 that the University of Texas affirmative action program is unconstitutional (and colleges will continue to ignore the Supreme Court's rulings on this issue).

The Supreme Court will strike down new regulations in Texas for abortion clinics.

One thing I didn't predict was Justice Scalia's death, and so I declare these predictions inoperative.

There will be no new Supreme Court Justices seated in 2016.

One for me, and this turned out to be a braver guess than expected--if you'd asked a lot of people this question mid-February, they'd have said the opposite.

There will be no major, organized terror attack on U.S. soil.

This, alas, is a judgment call.  However, even with incidents like the Orlando nightclub attack, I don't think we had anything that you'd call truly organized.

International Politics:

ISIS will be better contained in 2016 than in 2015.

I think this is correct, though some may disagree.

Assad will remain firmly in power.


No significant progress will be made regarding Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Check.  If anything, the opposite.

Justin Trudeau will go down significantly in the polls.

This seems to be true, though perhaps helped along by how he gushed over Castro.

The Economy:

By the end of the year the Dow will be closer to 19000 than 18000 (though a lot of this depends on the election).

The Dow certainly started rising after the election, though I'm not sure if it's due to the Dems losing, or the sense of uncertainly gone.  Anyway, the Dow is now well above 19000, which I'd say makes me correct, though maybe the guess should have been whether it will be closer to 19000 or 20000.

By year's end employment will be slightly under 5%.

I'd say I got this right.

Gas prices will be significantly higher than they are now (which is about 2 bucks a gallon).

I don't know the December number, but as of the end of October, it was about 15 to 20 cents higher. I'm going to call that significant.  (In L.A. at that time, it was pretty close to 3 dollars.)


The BCS Bowl will have Alabama beating Clemson. (This prediction was made before the Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl.)

45-40.  I called it.

The Panthers will win the Super Bowl.

The Broncos didn't have too much trouble putting away the Panthers.

The Wolverines will do well, but not better than their 9-3 regular season record in 2015.

I guess they did do better, but in some ways, it was more painful, spending so much time undefeated, ready for a shot at #1.

Popular Culture:

I was going to predict
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will become the highest-grossing domestic film of all time, but it's hardly a prediction now.

True then, true now.

The new Ghostbusters will not do as well as hoped.  Hail, Caesar will also be a disappointment.  Finding Dory will be huge.

Called all three.

Season six of
Game Of Thrones--now completely off book--will be better than season five.  Jon Snow will be alive, one way or another.  By the end of the season, Arya will be back on her own, having graduated from the House Of Black And White; at least one of the Boltons will die, but Littlefinger will still be alive; Daenerys will have gotten her three dragons in order and will finally be on the way back West.

Whether it was better is a judgment call--I'd say it's hard to tell the difference.  Snow was alive (or came back to life).  Arya looked stuck on Braavos for a while, but made it out by the end.  The whole house of Bolton bought it, while Littlefinger is still maneuvering.  Dany is finally going West with her dragons, which we've waited the entire series to see.  Should have guessed we'd see the Hound again as well.

I don't remember a year where there were so few clear favorites for the Oscars.  Leonardo DiCaprio will win Best Actor for
The Revenant due to all his hard work and lack of competition.  Cate Blanchett would easily win Best Actress for Carol if she didn't have two already, so Brie Larson will win. For Best Supporting Actor, no room for Spotlight or Stallone, so Mark Rylance will inch out Christian Bale. For Best Supporting Actress, if they can't vote for Blanchett they can vote for Rooney Mara.  For Best Picture Spotlight and The Big Short will fight it out (don't see The Martian as being a contender), with Spotlight being the safer pick.

Four out of five.  Not bad when you're guessing two months out.

Leo won. (I should also have predicted he'd hijack the event to make a political speech.)  Brie Larson won.  Mark Rylance won.  I was wrong about Rooney Mara--Alicia Vikander took it.


Blogger New England Guy said...

Well while he missed a few biggies (Trump-like everyone, and the Dow) and I don't know about the Supreme Court results, DG hit a quite few others. Kudos on Castro.

(Let me preemptively predict Benedict and Elizabeth in 17- though its nothing against one-namers- I think Madonna survives.)

I will maintain that I did get my presidential prediction correct (which I didn't post here -well not in a Predictions section at least)in that I was only foolishly focusing on only the popular vote. I've been out of college for while

5:16 AM, December 31, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, you think Benedict Cumberbatch is going to die? Or be named to the Supreme Court? It's not clear.

11:15 AM, December 31, 2016  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

LA Guy, you're in good company with the Hillary prediction.

But I'm not sure you get points for the lame-duck pardons. A controversial lame-duck session, yes, but I don't think pardons are a factor in that. Of course, you get nineteen more days to make this one good.

Both you and DG made legal predictions that became moot with Scalia's death. But for what it's worth, I think that had Scalia lived, the court would have voted as both of you predicted.

DG: Bennett won, and yet the Republicans kept the Senate. But this can be attributed to Trump coattails, if you like!

Both DG and LAG were correct on terrorism: Orlando was "major", but not "organized". DG predicted the German terrorism as well. On the other hand, that's an easy game. I hereby predict terrorist attacks (whether organized or ISIS-inspired lone-wolf) in America, Germany, France, and at least one other Western European country in 2017. I further predict that conservatives will blame these attacks on Islamic radicalism, while liberals will blame it on guns (or if the victims are LGBT, they will blame it on guns combined with the homophobia of conservative Christians). And while I'm at it, I predict that any right-wing European electoral victories will result in lots of young people joining street protests.

10:24 PM, December 31, 2016  

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