Last June I predicted Hillary would win the Democratic nomination. Also predicted that Bernie would come close. Also predicted Scott Walker would bore, struggle in the debates, and get nowhere. Also predicted Christie would “either shine or bomb” (funny enough, he sort-of did both).
All of that was correct.
I also predicted Jeb would win the GOP nomination. Oops.
Got lots right, but one big thing wrong. That said, here are my updated predictions.
- Trump will win in November.
- We’ll look back and see last week’s FBI statement as the beginning of the end for Hillary. She’ll never poll higher than she does right now.
- Trump will pick Democrat Michael Flynn for his running-mate. This creates a “unity ticket” that will win over 5-6% of Democrats and seal the deal in several swing states.
- Of the swing states, Trump will win FL, GA, NC, VA, PA, OH, IN, AZ and NV.
- Trump’s cabinet will include prominent Democrats and his policies will be generally moderate. He’ll slow down military spending, cut taxes, and travel the world trying to make “deals.”
In general, I’m optimistic on Trump–both his odds of winning and his presidency. I don’t agree with his policies, but I do think he’ll be wildly successful.
I also think Trump is serious about being a “unifier.” My reasons have to do with a speech he gave in Mara-a-Lago after winning super Tuesday. In it, he said this:
I am a unifier. I know people are going to find that a bit hard to believe but believe me, I am a unifier.
Simple. Straightforward. He says stuff like this all the time, right?
Actually, no. Here is Trump being, for the only time ever, fully transparent. That’s significant. When he says “I know people are going to find that a bit hard to believe,” he reveals that he is very aware of how he comes across. He’s aware of what people think about him. He’s not insane. He’s playing a game and has a strong grasp of how he’s perceived.
He never revealed as much before, and, to my knowledge, never revealed as much since. Part of his game is mind-games–he wants to keep everyone questioning. That’s what good negotiators do, right?
Now, if Trump is aware that it’s”hard to believe” he is a unifier, that means he’s going to do something about it. He’s going to make it easier to believe. His Mike Flynn VP pick at the GOP convention will begin that process.
Do I think Trump is an act? That he’s playing everyone, conning the GOP, and lying all around just to win? Yes. But isn’t that what any winner does? Those who truly want to win?
Just some random thoughts. This is me being very transparent–I could be totally wrong and ruin my credibility on these things forever.
Not that I have any credibility on these things to begin with…
I’ve learned that more than a few people enjoy my political commentary on this blog. I’ve also discovered that writing about political figures (or, to be more precise, citing political figures as keywords in my posts) draws more traffic to the blog. So here are a few thoughts (and predictions) on the 2016 election.
1. Hillary Clinton is going to lose ground in the primaries simply because she has nowhere to go but down. Bernie Sanders will make her look too stiff and too calculated. Martin O’Malley will have a similar effect and make her seem old and uncharismatic. But she’ll win the primaries by more than a little (as long as she stays healthy, which isn’t something I’d bet on), and Martin O’Malley would make a great running mate.
2. Scott Walker will struggle in New Hampshire. He’ll also bore Republicans of all stripes as he tries desperately to appeal to all of them (which is impossible). He’ll struggle in the debates, too, which is never good for Republicans.
3. Rand Paul will place a consistent second or close third everywhere, no matter the state and no matter what happens in the rest of the field. In this way, he’ll be just like his dad.
4. Jeb Bush’s popularity will rise, slowly and surely and without hiccup, through 2015. He’ll shine in the debates. Skeptical Republicans will realize that he’s really about as conservative as they come, and he’ll win Iowa and New Hampshire and, therefore, the nomination.
I’m a big believer in the power of party—I think at least half of voters choose a candidate based on who they think has the best chance to beat the other party, and not based on candidates’ specific views or policies. In 2015, this effect will only be magnified on the Republican side because the opponent is already known. The drive to simply “beat Hillary” will work in Jeb’s favor since he’s the only one (I think) who has a chance at beating her. I also think Jeb believes this, which is why he doesn’t (and won’t) pander to the far-right.
So Jeb vs. Hillary in the general election, assuming no major scandal or health issue for either of them.
Now, some mysteries in this election are: Marco Rubio (almost impossible not to like, but I don’t think anyone believes he can beat Hillary), Chris Christie (if he runs, could either shine or bomb), and Rick Perry (perfect candidate on paper, with a record to back it up, but no support). Non-mystery, definite losers are: Carly Fiorina (too boring) and Santorum-Huckabee-Carson-Cruz (you know why).
One weird scenario would be if something happens to Hillary–health issue, major scandal, etc.–and she can’t run. No other Democrat has enough clout to put up a serious general election fight. That is, except for Joe Biden. He’s always wanted to be president, and Democrats love him. His campaign could amass in a matter of days. Heck, maybe he’ll run anyways, which would change everything.