Summary of GOPLifer predictions

We all have to make predictions to get through the day. Which route to work will have better traffic. What should I do with my retirement money. Which of these restaurants will make a better sandwich.

Generally speaking, it’s a great idea to avoid making predictions if you can avoid it. Ignoring that sound reasoning, I’ve been making a lot of predictions lately. So that everyone can learn from my mistakes, let’s see how they look so far, starting with some of the oldest ones:

Prediction: The 2016 GOP nominee will be a stark raving loon who can’t possibly win the General Election
Date: September, 2011
How does it look: So far, so good

Prediction: Republicans are locked out of the White House for the foreseeable future (Blue Wall)
Date: November, 2014
How does it look: So far, so good

Prediction: Cruz is most likely to win the nomination
Date: December, 2014
How does it look: Pretty iffy, though, if Trump slips, Cruz should be next in line

Prediction: Wendy Davis will cause serious headaches for the Texas GOP
Date: January, 2014
How does it look: Dead wrong

Prediction: Jeb! campaign will flame out
Date: January, 2015
How does it look: So far, so good

Prediction: Falling oil prices could trigger a wider crash in commodities derivatives
Date: March, 2015
How does it look: Dead wrong

Prediction: Democrats will retake the Senate in 2016, but not gain a super-majority
Date: August, 2015
How does it look: Too early to tell

A few interesting things stand out. First, as the prediction about Cruz demonstrates, the world is full of unpredictable events that can ruin the most well-considered prognostications. I still like Cruz’s chances. In fact, I think he’s still the most likely guy to take the nomination if it doesn’t go to Trump. That said, Trump’s campaign demonstrates the power of a black swan to make a monkey out of the smartest prognosticator. That’s why smart people don’t make predictions if they don’t have to.

The oil price post demonstrates why it’s so tough to outsmart a market. If you don’t have a deep insiders view into the machinery behind a particular market, you probably won’t be able to piece it together from press releases. I remain fascinated and baffled by the behavior we are all witnessing in that market. That said, if there was going to be some dramatic, disruptive event emerging from the collapse in oil prices it seems like it should have emerged by now.

Predictions in that list that remain most viable are the ones that were very general and based on matters I know extremely well. And they still might go south on me. We’ll see.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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26 comments on “Summary of GOPLifer predictions
  1. Crogged says:

    Dude, if you could predict ‘markets’ you might be editing the five people you hired to write your content.

  2. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    I’m still sticking with my “Trump won’t be the nominee” line, but the new polling in Iowa is fascinating.

    Ben Carson, Donald Trump at 23% each show “most Iowa Republicans prefer someone without a traditional political pedigree,” according to Monmouth University Poll.

    Carly Fiorina 10%, Ted Cruz 9%, Scott Walker 7%, Jeb Bush 5%

    John Kasich, Marco Rubio 4%, Rand Paul 3%, Mike Huckabee,Rick Santorum 2%

    NOTE: Aug. 27-30 phone poll of 405 Iowans likely to attend Republican presidential caucuses has error margin of +/-4.9ppts

    Still, and I cannot believe I’m typing a sentence with “Bobby Jindal is right…”, but Bobby Jindal is right, and Trump will fade as the summer of silliness moves into a more thoughtful reflection over the winter.

  3. Griffin says:

    So if you still had to guess who the republican nominee is going to be now that Trump’s in the race would you change it from Cruz or is it simply too unpredicatable to even try to predict who’s going to win the GOP primary?

    • goplifer says:

      Trump isn’t going to be the nominee for the Republican Party as we know it. If he actually piles up enough primary wins to get the delegates to compete, then there will be a very nasty scene at the convention. There’s a chance that no one will come out of that event with a nomination from what used to be the GOP.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I can make that more concise:
        Trump isn’t going to be the nominee for the Republican Party.

        Trumps 15 minutes are a bit longer this time, but the man also was leading the polls for a few weeks in 2011, along with Cain and Bachmann. I know folks think it “feels different” this time with Trump, and he certainly does seem immune to everything at this point, but Trump’s ceiling is Ross Perot.

        He doesn’t have the organization, money (other people’s or his own), or knowledge to navigate a full slate of byzantine caucuses and primaries. Heck, there’s a fair chance Trump would forget to do something and miss the paperwork to get on a half dozen primary ballots.

  4. Doug says:

    OT: Stumbled onto Colin Quinn’s “Unconstitutional” on Netflix tonight. It’s well worth a watch.

  5. stephen says:

    One of my work buddies retired now years ago watched his employer a western electric company go bust. They had built more capacity (power plants) for a project to turn coal into oil. Well OPEC turned on the oil spigots and crashed the price of oil. It bankrupt the company doing the conversion and his company providing the power (stranded cost). Like you Lifer I do not know the interworking of the oil market. But these guys are not stupid. I think they have a strategy to outwit OPEC and the Saudis in particular this time. Do we really know how cheap they can frack? Or how long oil producing countries can tolerate low oil prices? You can bet your bottom dollar the frackers do. In my mind the oil market is a good show of your view of how capitalism works. The old market was an unregulated oligarchy. The new fracking market is true capitalism regulated. And this technology is not yet widespread in the world. There are many places that can use fracking. Green energy is now emerging as truly competitive. Within a decade the power company I work for will be 20% green energy. While the backward ones in our party are arguing about coal, other fossil fuels and global warming the real world is leaving them behind.

    • 1mime says:

      I’m curious, Stephen. What makes you think fracking is regulated? I agree that it has been a boon to oil and gas exploration, but it is also an expensive process. One of the biggest problems is safe disposal of the water used in the fracking process. To my knowledge, and please correct me if I am wrong, every state is doing its own thing regarding regulation. In fact, just this Spring, a TX city which had voted to ban fracking within certain proximity to city limits was overturned by state legislation which specifically forbids any municipality in TX from individually banning fracking. So much for local rights.

      • stephen says:

        I was in the Water and Waste Water field when regulation started to go from just local to national because people’s health was put in jeopardy by special interest buying off government at the state level. It has been a process still not finished these last forty years. Fracking I think will go through a similar process.

        I am not an expert in the waste management of fracking fluid. But my experience tells me it can be done properly with proper government over site. Half of the plant where I work is pollution control. And more and more things over the years have been regulated and we have been able to comply at a reasonable cost.

        The GOP power brokers pay homage to local control but in the end protect special interest instead. This is one reason why Trump is gathering so much support. The grass root supporters have notice this and are angry. And I have notice the same type of state government intervention in my state of Florida as you sited over fracking. Local ordnances regarding minimal wage and sick leave have been overturn by the GOP controlled State Legislation. This is called hypocrisy.

    • 1mime says:

      Thanks for sharing, Duncan! Most interesting and well written. Still, it appears the concept continues to find resistance. Hope NZ and other countries can demonstrate that the UBI can be an effective economic and social tool.

  6. texan5142 says:

    It is going to be Sanders and Trump…… buying popcorn futures as we speak. Step right up folks to the greatest show on earth! The demize of politics as we know it. Place your bets.

    But seriously, the politics of crazy manifested.

  7. vikinghou says:

    A Cruz nomination also satisfies the criteria for your Prediction #1!

  8. vikinghou says:

    Instead of falling oil prices causing a crash in commodities prices, it’s China.

    Of course China’s slowdown also affects the demand for oil. So China’s lower consumption is also contributing to the oversupply of oil.

    • 1mime says:

      I do believe that one of Lifer’s predictions regarding obsolescence in the marketplace and government, is our current oil industry. And, I say that with respect for the many good people still employed in that field and its importance to America’s economy and that of the world.

      But, as the Canadian Rob (where are ya?) observed a long time ago, cheap oil will slow expansion in alternative energy sources. That worries me.

      China was due for a bit of cooling down and reassessment. It’s people were not going to be content forever assembling Apple phones and making everyone but themselves wealthy. That nation is poised for great things but they have a lot of work ahead to have a more balanced society. We all know what happens when income divides us.

  9. lomamonster says:

    Well Chris, you can just “track me like a FedEx package”, eh? Hahahaha!!!!!!!

  10. Question: Do you think that if Sanders were to get the party nod, his overwhelming popularity might endanger your prediction about a super majority?

    • goplifer says:

      That made me laugh a little. Sanders winning the nomination is exactly the kind of black swan event that would destroy the whole concept of the Blue Wall. If Sanders is the nominee than Republicans actually have a shot.

      • Tom says:

        He won’t be the nominee though. I think the thing missing from your “Politics of Crazy” argument is that it’s almost exclusively a white people thing. Note Sanders’ paltry support among black voters and you’ll see why he will not win the nomination.

      • stephen says:

        I agree with you Tom. I wondered when Sanders first surged if he could actually carry it off. But not after I notice how little Black support he has. Blacks and other minorities are actually very conservative. If Republicans would actually share power and prosperity with them we could reclaim them as part of our coalition. They are growing while angry old white men are declining. Stupid is as stupid does.

      • 1mime says:

        What happens if Biden gets into the race and wins the nomination?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Biden and Hillary are practically carbon copies of each other in terms of politics, positions, and party affection. Biden only gets in if Hillary goes off the rails with a huge yet-to-be-revealed scandal.

        Other than a scandal, Biden cannot criticize Hillary on anything because he has the exact same positions as she does.

        Biden is a party loyalist, and he won’t jump into the race unless the party needs him to. Unless some scandal becomes huge for Clinton, Biden in the race only hurts the Democrats, and he won’t do that.

      • Griffin says:

        Sanders is interesting because he’s a black swan. I think that he’d probably win the general because the GOP’s in disarray, there’s already a Blue Wall to cushion him, and he would get the base out to vote but kind of like how Trump makes the GOP primary chaotic there’s really no way to know how people would react to Sanders or how much people are really bothered by the “socialist” label.

        It seems like a stretch to say he’d get the Dems a super majority in the Senate, though from a campaigning perspective he might be able to further whittle down GOP control of the House in 2018 if he stays aggressive. Again, I think he’s the kind of candidate who makes things far less predictable than, say, Hillary.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        The only person Sanders would not lose to (and lose big) would be Trump.

        The “base” that loves Sanders is the wackiest of the wacky on the left (and I’m a lefty).

        You’ll notice that Hillary has not dropped among Democrats as Bernie is surging. Hillary is still overwhelmingly supported by Democrats (almost to an unprecedented level).

        Until the folks at 538 finally get something wrong, I’m not going to bet against them. They are still much more open to this being a very competitive Presidential election.
        – No incumbent candidate on the Democrat side.
        – A Democrat candidate that is extremely well known and extremely disliked by lots of folks, so Hillary has an absolute ceiling on her support
        – Relatively weak economic growth (and a short term memory problem with folks not remembering 2007)
        – A goofy voting population (more Republicans in Louisiana blame Obama for the poor response to Katrina than they do Bush – just let that sink in for a while)

        The Blue Wall may very well exist, but the candidate at the Presidential level makes a whole lot of difference. At least right now, there is no GOP equivalent to an Obama (in terms of generating excitement), so that helps the Democrats, but on her best day, Hillary doesn’t get more than 53% of the vote.

        Hillary can still attract moderates and women (more so than a typical male Democrat). Bernie immediately loses whatever advantage Hillary has with those groups.

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