Predictions for 2020: Values both negative and positive
Once again, it is time to look into the crystal ball and predict what will happen in 2020. But unlike most pundits who hope you will forget their previous prognostications, I will review my predictions for 2019.
1. The stock market will remain flat. Thankfully wrong. It gained over 25%.
2. President Trump will not be impeached. Debatable. A vote to impeach the President passed the House but some legal scholars believe impeachment does not occur until the articles are passed to the Senate. Thus far, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to do so.
3. Michael Bloomberg will become the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. Partial credit. There is no clear front-runner and Bloomberg is a player.
4. Alabama will win the football national championship. Wrong. Clemson crushed them.
5. The Patriots will win the Super Bowl. To my infinite disgust, correct.
With such a lackluster record, is there any sense to reading any further? Yes. Because as one of my daughters pointed out when she was a teenager, my predictions have “negative value” meaning that you can determine the future by the opposite of what I suggest. So here goes.
1. The stock market will gain around 5%. Corporate profits are good and many of the Blue Chip stocks are paying dividends in the 3% to 5% range. With low bond yields, investing in the market is a reasonable play, but the ride may be bumpy.
2. Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee. The Democrats are in a fight between the liberal purists and the pragmatic mandarins. Both sides passionately want to defeat President Trump, but the mandarins will not be able to convince the purists that a centrist candidate can win. Polls in 2016 consistently showed Sanders beating Trump by larger margins than Hillary Clinton. The purists remember this. Furthermore, the Democrats changed their convention rules so that superdelegates – mostly party mandarins who represented 15% of the convention vote in 2016 – can no longer vote on the first ballot.
Sanders will win both Iowa and New Hampshire while Warren fades. Biden may take both South Carolina and squeak by in Nevada, but then Bloomberg is going to blast the air waves on Super Tuesday and damage Biden while Sanders’ support remains rock solid. Perhaps Buttigieg, Yang, Bloomberg or Klobuchar will gain traction, but the mandarins will be too dense to figure out that Biden is unelectable until it is too late. Thus, no one will go to the Convention with 50% support. Hillary may sweep in to pick up the pieces, but the purists will not accept her. The superdelegates will try to push a more moderate candidate, but the purists will threaten to walk. The mandarins will have to relent and get behind Sanders. Of course if Michelle Obama enters the race, all bets are off.
3. President Trump will win reelection. Just as the 2016 Brexit vote in England augured the Trump coup d’état, the rout by Trump-clone Boris Johnson in England bodes well for the president. Trump has thus far delivered what the average voter wants – peace and prosperity. Furthermore, the Democrats have shifted too far to the left – open borders, free health care for illegal immigrants, Medicare-for-All, third trimester abortions on demand, higher taxes, forgiveness of student loans, racial reparations and a job-killing climate change agenda that returns the United States to dependency on foreign oil. Even if a centrist nominee emerges, President Trump will not allow the voters to forget that this agenda is the heart-and-soul of the Democratic Party.
4. The Republicans will hold the Senate. Presently, the Republicans have a 53-47 advantage and Alabama Democrat Doug Jones has little chance of holding his seat in 2020. On the other hand, Republicans are vulnerable in North Carolina, Colorado, Arizona, Maine and maybe even Kentucky. The Democrats could lose New Hampshire and Michigan and Minnesota are both long-shot Republican pick-ups. Expect the Republicans to have 52 seats when all is said and done.
5. The Republicans will retake the House. The Democrats retook the House in 2018 by concentrating on bread-and-butter issues such as health care and education. The newly-elected Democrats from the 31 districts that Trump won in 2016 overwhelmingly voted to impeach him. They will have a hard time convincing their constituents that they won’t impeach him again if reelected. These voters would rather the country move on and accept the election results.
6. LSU will win the national football college championship. Their opponent, Clemson only played two teams in the top 25, and barely defeated Ohio State in the semi-final. LSU on the other hand is undefeated with a much tougher schedule and obliterated the fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners 63-28.
7. The Baltimore Ravens will win the Super Bowl. The Ravens have the best record in the NFL, 14-2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is the rare athlete capable of both running (over 1,200 yards) and passing (66% completion percentage) against the sophisticated NFL defenses. He should enjoy it while it lasts. Few quarterbacks can maintain this brutal level of play. Ask Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger. But for now, Jackson has cracked the code.
Joe Bentivegna is an ophthalmologist in Rocky Hill.
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