2017 could be modestly described as a wild and unpredictable political maelstrom. For better or worse, there’s little reason to think that 2018 is going to be much different. However, one of the things that we social scientists try to do is peer into the obfuscation and piece together a visage of what’s to come. And, as a political contributor, I realize I have fallen far behind on my quota on things that can come back and kick me in the rear. So I figured some predictions were in order to celebrate the new year. Here are three such forecasts, ranked in descending order of certainty.
1. Donald Trump is still President by the end of 2018
There’s a reason this is at the top. Even if Mueller uncovers some incontrovertible bombshell (and there’s no guarantee that any findings will directly implicate the President) the gears of justice churn slowly. He’ll start out the year as President and barring something tragic he’ll finish it as President.
2. Democrats secure a majority in the House.
I’ve thusfar been pretty cautious regarding the signs of a potential Democratic wave. But, at this point, the evidence has surmounted my skepticism. It’d be one thing if Democrats were only polling ahead by 10+ points in generic congressional ballots, if Democrats had only won in Virginia, or even if they had only done unusually well (let alone win) in Alabama. But we’ve got all three. One doesn’t need to be an expert in Bayesian reasoning to figure that a wave is pretty dang likely with all of those considerations in mind. After all, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it might not be a duck–but you’re best off betting that it is.
3. Roy Moore finally admits to losing in December.
Speaking of Alabama: Roy Moore still hasn’t officially conceded. I’m thinking he might when Doug Jones gets sworn in but, shoot, who knows at this point.
There you have it. Let’s reconvene next year and see how much humble pie I’ll be eating alongside 2018’s Christmas cookies. I’ll be sure to save ample room.