A Glance Into The Crystal Ball For 2012

So, what's next?

Jazz Shaw has a post about predictions for the upcoming year over at Hot Air, and that’s kind of inspired me to come up with a list of my own. Please note I reserve the right to claim that these predictions were made under the influence of New Year’s Eve pre-partying if it turns out that I was completely wrong.


  • Mitt Romney will be the nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States. This will largely be an accepted fact by the end of January after Romney (1) either wins Iowa or comes in second to Ron Paul, (2) wins New Hampshire, (3) wins or places a close second in South Carolina, and (4) wins Florida.
  • Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum will effectively end their campaigns before the Florida primary
  • Newt Gingrich will last through the end of February, but will end his campaign when he is trounced in the Illinois Primary at the end February
  • The effort to get any candidates other than Mitt Romney and Ron Paul on the Virginia ballot, either by legislation or litigation, will fail
  • Ron Paul will stay in the Presidential campaign until the end, and will demand as the price for his loyalty to the GOP (if not his formal endorsement of Romney, which will not happen) a prime time speaking slot at the Republican National Convention, which he’ll get. Paul will not run as a third-party candidate.
  • Mitt Romney will select Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell as his Vice-Presidential running mate, although much of the pre-convention press coverage will involve speculation about Chris Christie
  • Chris Christie will be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention
  • The American Elect effort to create an independent candidate for President will end in failure
  • Barack Obama will be re-elected to a second term, but the Republicans will hold on to the House of Representatives and take control of the Senate by a narrow majority.
  • Elizabeth Warren will defeat Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race. The Democrats, meanwhile, will lose Senate seats in Nebraska, North Dakota, Missouri, Florida, and Montana.
  • There will be rumors in November of a challenge to John Boehner for Speaker of the House, but Boehner will hold on to his position in the end


  • The Supreme Court will uphold the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
  • The Supreme Court will strike down Arizona’s immigration law
  • Jon Corzine will be indicted for activities related to the collapse of MF Global
  • There will be no indictments, resignations, or attempts at impeachment related to the “Fast & Furious” scandal


  • There will be no outside military intervention in Syria
  • The Egyptian military will break its agreements to implement democratic reforms in the face of the rise of Islamist parties, leading to more protests
  • Tensions in the Persian Gulf will increase, with at least one incident involving exchanges of fire between an American naval vessel and Iranian forces
  • North Korea will create a crisis on the Korean peninsula. It will last about a month, and then calm down.
  • Russia will see more protests over fixed elections


  • The Green Bay Packers will win Super Bowl XLVI
  • The Alabama Crimson Tide will defeat the LSU Tigers in the BCS Championship Game, leading to another round of calls for a College Football playoff


  • Starting sometime around November, the media will start hyping the “Mayan Apocalypse” story. Nothing will happen on December 21, 2012.

I’ve asked other OTB contributors to add their own predictions to this post, and feel free to add your own, or criticize mine, in the comments.

And, Happy New Year!

UPDATE (Rob Prather):I have two predictions:

  • Alabama will beat LSU in the BCS Championship game.
  • President Obama will win reelection. He’s been blessed with terrible opponents.

UPDATE (James Joyner):


  • Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee. None of the Not Romneys will mount a serious challenge once voting begins.
  • No candidate other than Obama or Romney will win any votes in the Electoral College.
  • Rob Portman of Ohio will be the vice presidential pick, helping push Romney over the top in a crucial swing state. It won’t be enough.
  • Barack Obama will be narrowly re-elected, owing to a mild resurgence in the economy and the weakness of the Republican message.


  • The Supreme Court will strike down the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate by a 5-3 margin, with Elena Kagan abstaining.
  • The Supreme Court will strike down Arizona’s immigration law.


  • The United States will not go to war or engage in significant kinetic military action with either Syria, Iran, or North Korea.
  • The Arab Spring will widely be seen as a lost opportunity this time next year, with Tunisia serving as the outlier.
  • The Eurozone will consist of fewer countries than it does now at year’s end.


  • An NFC team will win Super Bowl XLVI. It will not be the Green Bay Packers.
  • While I will be rooting for my graduate alma mater, the Alabama Crimson Tide, they will again lose to the LSU Tigers in the BCS Championship Game owing to inferior special teams play.
  • The 14-team Southeastern Conference will again have a representative in next year’s BCS Championship Game.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tano says:

    Political ones are not so bad – I would not dismiss the possibility that Romney may be pushed a lot more than you think, with the hard rightwingers rallying to some anti-Romney. Yeah, maybe even Santorum.

    I’m guessing that Romney will choose somewhat more of a DC insider as his VP – someone in the Cheney, Biden model – who knows exactly how the game is played and can run a lot of interference for a relative outsider. Kasich would have been the perfect choice if he had not imploded back home.

    I don’t see much of a chance for the GOP to knock off Bill Nelson in Florida, thus the Dems will likely hold the Senate, barely. (NV is a complete tossup, thus a possible Dem pickup)

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    I for the most part agree although I think both the House and the Senate are too close to call at this time.
    The economy depends on Europe. If the Eurozone holds together until after the election Obama will win – if it doesn’t all bets are off. I think the odds are it will because Bernanke and Geithner will be helping from the shadows.

    Oil will remain at or near $100 bbl.

    Iraq will come unglued and the neocons will make lots of noise but a majority of voters won’t care or be even happier that all the troops are out.

  3. PogueMahone says:

    The Green Bay Packers will win Super Bowl XLVI

    That has been my prediction since the beginning of the season. Rodgers and the Packer offense looked too strong and the defense did well enough – but since two weeks ago, I’m looking for the Saints to pull it off. They’re surging at the right time; though it will be tough for the Saints – they have to go to GB to defeat them.

  4. Gustopher says:

    Romney will win the Republican nomination, when the various Not-Romneys fail to close ranks. He will not be lovingly embraced by the party’s base.

    Romney’s tax returns will be made public, but not by him. There will be congressional investigations into the leak from the IRS. Romney’s income is mostly taxed at the 15% rate, he has some questionable off-shore tax havens, and he has not been tithing to his church.

    Republicans will lose the House by a very small margin, but get the Senate by a similarly small margin. Romney’s negative coat tails will not inspire conservative activists to get out the vote in areas without a strong Senate race.

    Obama wins re-election. America just does not like Willard Romney. The election will be notable for the high amount of undecideds in the last few weeks. The undecideds break for Obama or stay home.

    The number of Americans turned away at the polls is disgustingly high, but not high enough to save Willard. The piecemeal state-by-state voter access problems will result in a national id card in 2013. Ron Paul will speak angrily and incoherently against this on C-SPAN, to an empty chamber. Republicans will use this as an opportunity to disenfranchise people on a national level, rather than state-by-state.

    Europe goes from slowly festering economic problem to disaster. Greece, Italy and several others leave the Euro.

    American and Isreali sabotage of the Iranian nuclear program will be exposed in September. There will be a military confrontation in October when Iran tries to block shipping in the Persian Gulf.

    Kim Jung-un will be dead, deposed, or a figurehead by July. North Korea will be run by the military.

    Sarah Palin makes a bundle of money on speaking fees, stressing the Republicans’ abandonment of Tea Party ideals, but always ending on a note of Romney is less worse than Obama. Bless her little grifter heart, every dollar she takes in is a dollar that could otherwise have been used to effectively promote Republicans.

    December 12, 2012 passes without the world ending, but with at least one disturbed man with a gun killing 10 or more.

    December 13, 2012 — Barrack Hussein Obama takes away all our guns, declares Sharia law, and crowns himself Grand Islamic Sultan of Americastan.

  5. MikeP says:

    “The effort to get any candidates other than Mitt Romney and Ron Paul on the Virginia ballot, either by legislation or litigation, will fail”

    Looks like your prediction is wrong on that one. Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli stated today he is making arrangements to get other Republican candidates on the ballot. As long as candidates are receiving matching Federal funds they will automatically be included on the ballot in Virginia’s primary. If the legislators works in a timely manner to acheive that goal, that is.

    Predictions are harmless and most of them end up being wrong. Predicting Romney will win the Republican nomination seems reasonable but don’t count out an act of God or some other miracle that says he won’t be. Romney’s record in Massachusetts was horrible and his tenure at Bain Capital *capitalized* by eliminating thousands of jobs in what was Romney’s quest to make himself and his shareholders filthy rich. Not only that, but many of the companies Romney tookover eventually went belly up. If people would just do their homework they’d realize Romney is not the best choice to turn the economy around (he significantly raised taxes in Massachusetts while job creation was 47th out of 50 among states during his term as Governor. Romney is a Big Government, big spending politician whose agenda would no doubt keep growing government exponentially (and the national debt astronomically) if he were to become president in my opinion. If past policy decisions are any indicator of what he would do in the future that is.

    Don’t let his conservative “talk” fool you America. He might talk a good talk but if you research his record he hasn’t walked the conservative walk. Actions speak louder than words and it is quite obvious that Romney had NO previous conservative core principles until he started pondering his now two runs for the presidency. He changes (flip-flops) according to the political winds of opportunity. If you research his positions on any given issue that is what you’ll discover too. Do we really want a guy in the White House whose sole motivation for becoming president is personal ambition and not necessarily for the good of the country or the American people? When a potential candidate flip-flops in order to gain political advantage, in an effort to fulfill a personal ambition, where does that leave the American people, or the United States for that matter? How about “hung out to dry” and hoodwinked by a person who’s claiming to be one thing i.e. a conservative, but in reality, if you look closely, he’s the Emperor with no clothes! He governed as a ‘liberal’, he spent money like a drunken sailor, and he raised TAXES through the roof in his stint as Governor of Massachusetts. If Romney becomes president don’t look for the economy to improve or the national debt to go down or the unemployment rate to suddenly reverse itself. He’s a Big Government, BIG spender, HIGH TAXES kind of guy and I don’t expect that would change if he were to become president. Nuff’ said.

  6. @MikeP:

    Perhaps you need to read the post i wrote this afternoon explaining why Mr. Cuccinelli’s proposed legislation is doomed to fail.

  7. ponce says:

    Barack Obama wins reelection by a margin of 20-30 million votes.

    “John Carter of Mars” will disappoint, but “Prometheus” will restore the “Alien” franchise to glory.

  8. @ponce:

    FDR beat Alf Landon by 9 million votes.

    LBJ beat Goldwater by 16 million votes

    Nixon beat McGovern by 18 million votes

    Reagan beat Mondale by 17 million votes.

    I think you’re being a bit too optimistic.

  9. ponce says:


    I’ll make you a wager:

    If Obama doesn’t win by at least 20 million votes, I’ll put a bobble head Ludwig von Mises doll in my shrine to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    If he does, you can’t make any “The Democrats do it too” posts for a year.

  10. Jeremy says:

    @ponce: I don’t think they have any Ludwig von Mises bobble head dolls. Thank God.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Here is my prediction: We are f*cked. How badly? Not as bad as I think we could be, tho far worse than I think we should be.
    Wake up and smell the roaches mf’ers….

  12. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    From my humble abode about a mile away from the Daejeon train station, I really, really hope that International prediction number 4 is wrong because from here, I’m not sure that the nation will put up with another “provocative act” from NK. If it happens, expect China to go into shuttle diplomacy mode at the thought of 12 million or so refugees yearning to “breathe free”–or at least eat regularly. (On the day before Kim’s funeral, the lead editorial in the Korea Times called for a “Pyeongyang Spring.”)

    Otherwise, I don’t see that your New Year’s Eve partying had any ill effects. You seem to have a fair grasp of the obvious. Happy New Year.

    @Ron Beasley–Iraq has alerady come unglued, we are simply bathing in the warm glow of “Iraqnamization.” Denial is a wonderful thing sometimes–enjoy it while you can.

    @ MikeP–You’re not looking at the big picture. In the objectivist world of current conservative orthodoxy, putting thousands of people out of work while pocketing the profits from the destruction of their employers is what the “creators” do. And the fact that virtually none of the “reconfigured” businesses remained solvent simply shows how “parasitic” those firms were–redounding to the favor of the “creators” for “maximizing their own potential” before it was too late for anyone to gain advantage at all. As to how this will play with the electorate, P.T. Barnum put it best–“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  13. The Florida Masochist says:

    I disagree with the prediction of the GOP winning a Senate seat in Florida. Bill Nelson is a type of Democrat who wins statewide races in Florida. His only loss was to Lawton Chiles. The Republicans who are planning to run, aren’t a very appealing group. Connie Mack the IV is a pretty worthless legislator and the only he has going for him is his name.

  14. Peter says:

    Since WWII all three of the sitting Presidents who sought re-election when the unemployment rate was in excess of 7.5% – Ford, Carter, Bush pere – have been defeated. Will Obama break the streak?

  15. Hey Norm says:

    I like both the 9’ers and the Saints more than GB right now.

    I predict tomorrow will be one of the best days of football in a long time. If I believed in god I would thank her for DirecTV Sunday Ticket.

  16. Hey Norm says:

    Oh yeah…and the minute Romney releases his tax returns…he loses the election.

  17. Ron Beasley says:

    @ponce: You know I loved the Burroughs’ Barsoom series when I was 17 – at 65 not so much. But I might see it anyway out of curiosity.

  18. Kylopod says:

    Since WWII all three of the sitting Presidents who sought re-election when the unemployment rate was in excess of 7.5% – Ford, Carter, Bush pere – have been defeated. Will Obama break the streak?

    There’s no evidence that unemployment rate in an absolute sense matters to a president’s fortunes. FDR was reelected in a historic landslide while unemployment was around 16%. And what about Reagan’s 49-state sweep in 1984? Yes, the rate was below 7.5%–but not by much.

    What matters a lot more is the direction of the economy, especially when compared with its condition when the president entered office. Carter and Bush Sr. started their terms during a time of economic growth, and the recessions that helped end their presidencies struck on their watch. Obama, in contrast, entered office after the current economic crisis struck. That counts for something, as does the fact that the public still seems to blame the Republicans for the economic problems, at least in part. That’s one of the major reasons a lot of people are bullish about Obama’s chances, despite his obvious vulnerabilities.

  19. Hey Norm says:

    @ Kylopod…
    In addition none of those guys were handed a mess like Obama was handed…and every poll shows that the American people recognize that.

  20. Peter says:


    Reagan’s 1984 landslide occurred at a time when the economy was clearly on a major upswing. Unemployment may have been close to 7.5% in 1984, but it had dropped more than two full percentage points in two years. Obama may benefit from a similar drop (the rate peaked at 10.1% in October 2009), but that’s not yet certain.

    Unlike Reagan, Obama also is faced with depressed housing prices. I know, he’s not to blame, and in any event housing prices are “depressed” only in comparison with their Weimar-esque hyperinflated levels of a few years back – but voters don’t care. If you’re stuck with a $500K mortgage on a house you bought in 2005 for $600K, and which is now worth $400K, you are not going to care that Obama is not at fault for your predicament. You just want him out of office.

  21. Kylopod says:

    >Reagan’s 1984 landslide occurred at a time when the economy was clearly on a major upswing

    Exactly. That’s what I said: “What matters a lot more is the direction of the economy.” And that’s exactly the point that your original message overlooked. It’s silly to just pick some arbitrary level of unemployment and suggest there’s something significant about the fact that no president since WWII has been reelected when it was above that level. What matters from a political perspective is not where the economy is but how far it’s gone since the president took office and where it seems to be going.

  22. KevinA says:

    Note to Dr. Joyner: Rob Portman is from OHIO, not Illinois. I should know, he’s my senator.

  23. jan says:


    What have you been smoking?

    Whoever wins the 2012 election for POTUS will do so by a slim margin.

  24. James Joyner says:

    @KevinA: Er…yes. Not sure what I was thinking. Fixed!

  25. ■Alabama will beat LSU in the BCS Championship game.

    Do you mean the Allstate BCS SEC West Championship Game?

  26. pbrower2a says:


    1. Rick Santorum becomes the #1 challenge to Mitt Romney in the Republican race as others fall way short. Ron Paul gets enough delegates that he could throw the nomination to either if he so desired and decide who wins. But he likes neither particularly well. He eventually releases his delegates and the nomination is decided. The Republican National Convention is a disaster.

    2. Indiana “Tea Party” Republicans foolishly but successfully defeat Richard Lugar in the Senate race.

    3. The US economy improves throughout 2012. Slow growth without a speculative boom ensures that there is no “Double Dip”.

    4. President Obama is re-elected in a landslide (400+ electoral votes, with Texas iffy). He has just done too many things right for any other result, and the Republicans have offered so much grist for negative ads that neither Romney nor Santorum can deal with.

    5. Democrats win back the House of Representatives and hold onto the Senate (the latter with pick-ups of Senate seats in Arizona, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Texas — and Indiana unless Dick Lugar runs as an Independent.

    6. The most prominent Republican pol to be defeated is Michele Bachmann.


    Ayman al-Zawahiri is whacked much like Osama bin Laden.

    Syrian regime falls with most of the leadership put on trial and executed.

    Democracy takes hold in Burma/Myanmar.

    Iran buckles on nukes.

    Kim dynasty fails in North Korea. Korea re-united as China, Japan, Russia, and the US accept a neutral, democratic, nuclear-free, free-market state. US military presence ends in Korea.

    China shows tantalizing signs of political liberalization.


    See #3 above. The stock market has a good year.

    Gold collapses as an investment.

    Kodak folds.

    Executives from Countrywide Savings go on trial for fraud.

    2012 Olympics:

    China wins the largest number of medals.


    Detroit Tigers win the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Justin Verlander has a season much like 2011, and Miguel Cabrera wins the American League’s Triple Crown — giving credit to “not having to face the Tiger pitching staff “.

    Mayan prophecy:

    Doesn’t happen — doesn’t happen — doesn’t happen.


    2012 is the warmest year on record. Comedians make jokes about “Adolf Hitler signing autographs” from May to September. Big forest fires. Record hurricane season.

    Baseball teams push sunscreen and the sale of gallon jugs of water.