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I Got 2022 Mostly Right. Now on to 2023!

January 05, 2023
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Time for the annual review of my 2022 predictions, followed by prophecies for 2023. Here are the 23 correct and eight wrong picks that gave me a 74.2% success rate for last year. 

First, things I got right. Republicans took the House with fewer seats than the post-World War II average (way less). Democrats gained governorships, but the Republican advantage in state legislative seats grew. GOP secretary of state candidates in Arizona, Michigan and Nevada (all Trump-endorsed election deniers) lost. President Biden’s approval rating at year’s end was under 45%.

I was right on inflation rising faster than wages. Growth softened from 2021’s 5.9% to an estimated 1.9%. Unemployment was 3.7% in November, the last data released from the year, lower than last November’s 4.2%. Covid persists but, even with more variants, is a less significant issue. Public-school enrollment remains below pre-pandemic levels.

Russia failed to subjugate Ukraine. China and North Korea increased hostile actions: China against Taiwan and Kim Jong Un against everyone. Lula was elected Brazil’s president again.

Mike Tirico replaced Al Michaels on “Sunday Night Football.” Mr. Michaels then landed at “Thursday Night Football.” Golden State became NBA champions. Jane Campion won best director for “Power of the Dog,” and “Succession” won its second Outstanding Drama Series Emmy. 

I was right on three of four Jan. 6 items. Hundreds of defendants charged for the Capitol assault pleaded guilty or were convicted; few were acquitted. The Supreme Court allowed the release of President Trump’s Jan. 6 documents. The House investigating committee found that groups planned violence for that day. But it wasn’t established that the Willard Hotel Trump command post knew that. 

My really, really bad call was Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court didn’t weaken the ruling; it overturned it. Yet while abortion rights dominated Democratic messaging, it remained a minor advantage. Every GOP governor who recently signed strong pro-life bills won re-election—in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Texas. Meanwhile, the only Democratic governor who lost, Nevada’s Steve Sisolak, based his campaign on abortion rights. But Democrats were helped in states with abortion referendums, like Michigan.

There were other predictions that didn’t pan out. Hobbled by bad candidates, Republicans didn’t flip the Senate. The percentage of Americans saying the country is on the right track didn’t improve; it remained at 30% at year’s end. Inflation didn’t decline from last year’s 6.8% annual rate in November, but instead rose to 7.1%. Georgia beat Alabama to become college football champs. Argentina—not Brazil—took the World Cup. Norway—not the U.S.—won the most Winter Olympic medals.

What do I think 2023 holds?

Ukraine keeps making gains on the battlefield, but doesn’t restore its Feb. 23, 2022, borders. The West provides critical military and economic aid, though with growing domestic controversy. Vladimir Putin throws in more men and resources, inflicting more violence on the outnumbered Ukrainians. Despite the imbalance of forces, Russia doesn’t prevail. China suffers an explosion of Covid cases and deaths. Beijing also steps up pressure on Taiwan but doesn’t invade. Europe becomes more friendly to nuclear and hydrocarbon energy.

Mr. Biden declares that he’s running for re-election. A significant Democrat realizes the danger this represents and, à la Ted Kennedy1980, runs. The Republican field is a fraction of 2016’s 17 candidates—no more than six significant GOP candidates are standing by year’s end. Mr. Trump’s numbers decline through the year. Mr. Biden’s approval number ends 2023 below 45%.

Time for the annual review of my 2022 predictions, followed by prophecies for 2023. Here are the 23 correct and eight wrong picks that gave me a 74.2% success rate for last year. 

First, things I got right. Republicans took the House with fewer seats than the post-World War II average (way less). Democrats gained governorships, but the Republican advantage in state legislative seats grew. GOP secretary of state candidates in Arizona, Michigan and Nevada (all Trump-endorsed election deniers) lost. President Biden’s approval rating at year’s end was under 45%.

I was right on inflation rising faster than wages. Growth softened from 2021’s 5.9% to an estimated 1.9%. Unemployment was 3.7% in November, the last data released from the year, lower than last November’s 4.2%. Covid persists but, even with more variants, is a less significant issue. Public-school enrollment remains below pre-pandemic levels.

Read More at the WSJ

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