We enter a new year with much uncertainty in the world. But with fear and trepidation, I will offer ten predictions for 2018. I’m doing the predictions, so I get to pick the categories. I will not offer predictions for the Grammys, for example, because, like most Americans, I don’t care. So here we go. Write ’em down and take ’em to the bank. Here are ten can’t miss predictions for 2018.
1. Midterm Elections – Republicans win
In all the polls, Democrats hold at least a ten-point lead over Republicans as we head toward the 2018 midterm elections. But you read it here first: Republicans will hold both the Senate and the House. Why? Because the perceived direction of the country, foreign policy victories, and most of all, the economy, will continue to head in the right direction.
How this could go wrong: President Trump might keep tweeting every day.
2. Dow Jones – 27,191
I know, that doesn’t sound like a very round number. I’ll make is simpler. The Dow will be up by 10 percent, from 24,719 to 27,191. That will actually be down from the growth of 2017, but well ahead of most years. Why? The economy is still humming, and the tax cuts will help.
How this could go wrong: Three things are hard to predict: inflation, interest rate hikes, and North Korea.
3. World Series – Houston Astros
The Astros will be the first team since the 2000 Yankees to repeat as baseball champions. Why? They have all their core players back from 2017, and will add more frontline pitching. They have already improved their bullpen. Give third baseman Alex Bregman a full year, and they are baseball’s best team.
How this could go wrong: Injuries and short playoff series are hard to predict.
4. Trump’s Approval Rating – 42%
That’s not good, but it’s better. His low rating will not cripple Republicans in the November elections, because there is a big segment of the electorate – about 10 percent – who find Trump repugnant, but they support his policies. These are the voters who will always say they “disapprove” of the president’s handling of his job, while voting for his policies.
How this could go wrong: Trump quits tweeting and his rating hits 50 percent, or the economy slows down and his rating stays in the 30s.
5. Super Bowl – New England Patriots
Until Tom Brady retires in 20 years, stay with the Patriots. Football is about the quarterback, and the Patriots have the quarterback. Their toughest challenge will be in the AFC title game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their Super Bowl opponent will be the New Orleans Saints, riding the arm of QB Drew Brees. This Super Bowl will be a classic. New England wins, 38-34.
How this could go wrong: The Steelers beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
6. Nobel Peace Prize – Pope Francis
The Pope will win this one, hands down. His efforts in peacemaking around the world have been remarkable.
How this could go wrong: Something big happens, and a world political leader solves the crisis and wins this award.
7. Winter Olympics Medals – United States
Who will win the most medals? It will come down to Norway, Canada, and the United States. The U.S. shows up big in the most diverse events, so put your money on the red, white, and blue.
How this could go wrong: Norway could win more medals.
8. Williams Sisters Grand Slams – One
I know, we are sports heavy here. But I’m an old tennis player, once ranked in the top five in my own family. Venus Williams will continue to play at a high level – remarkable for her age. But it will be Serena who breaks through, with a win at the U.S. Open.
How this could go wrong: The sisters could win two. (They won’t be shut out.)
9. Al Gore’s End of World Prediction – Won’t happen
Ever since inventing the Internet, Al Gore has been predicting doom and gloom, as the world has warmed nearly a whole degree in the past twenty years – as has happened several other times in history. But the catastrophic ending to the planet, which he predicted ten years ago, won’t happen.
How this could go wrong: The world could burn up. But of all my predictions, I’m feeling the best about this one. I’m sure Mr. Gore means well, but I plan to still buy green bananas and set money aside for my retirement in 2030.
10. College Football Champion: Alabama
I saved the easiest for last. Next week, on January 8, Alabama will beat Georgia. The game will be close, but Alabama will win for one reason: Nick Saban.
How this could go wrong: Turnovers are impossible to predict; if Georgia gets more turnovers, they can win the game.