Judging The 2012 Preditions

Last January 1, some of us made a series of predictions. Here's how we did.


One year ago, several us here at OTB made some predictions about what might happen in 2012. Here’s how I turned out, I’ll let everyone else who participated back then judge themselves.

What I Got Right

  • The effort to get any candidates other than Mitt Romney and Ron Paul on the Virginia ballot, either by legislation or litigation, will fail
  • 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
  • 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.
  • There will be no outside military intervention in Syria
  • 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

What I Got Partialy Right

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Supreme Court will strike down Arizona’s immigration law
  • There will be no indictments, resignations, or attempts at impeachment related to the “Fast & Furious” scandal

Where I Totally Bombed

  • 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
  • Jon Corzine will be indicted for activities related to the collapse of MF Globa
  • 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

UPDATE (James Joyner): I’ll follow Doug’s format above and am bumping this to a full-fledged post.

What I Got Right

  • 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.
  • Barack Obama will be narrowly re-elected, owing to a mild resurgence in the economy and the weakness of the Republican message. [It turned out to be less narrow than I expected but the fundamental assessment is right.]
  • 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.
  • An NFC team will win Super Bowl XLVI. It will not be the Green Bay Packers. [It was the New York Giants]
  • The 14-team Southeastern Conference will again have a representative in next year’s BCS Championship Game. [Happily, it’s Alabama again. We’ll see if the outcome is as happy.]

What I Got Partialy Right

  • The Supreme Court will strike down Arizona’s immigration law. [They struck down most of it but curiously left intact the controversial “let me see your papers, brown person” provision.]

Where I Totally Bombed

  • The Eurozone will consist of fewer countries than it does now at year’s end. [The Grexit hasn’t happened and European leaders keep muddling through by kicking the can down the road.]
  • 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. [Portman likely should have been the pick. It likely wouldn’t have been enough to carry Ohio, though.]
  • 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. [Kagan should have abstained under standard practices but declined to do so. But Roberts’ “switch in time” made that irrelevant.]
  • 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. [Quite happily wrong here, as Alabama trounced LSU. The kicking game was a bit shaky but much better than in the first matchup.]

2013 prognostication coming tomorrow.

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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. Ben Wolf says:

    You missed one, Doug. When the Fed announced QE3 you stated, correctly, it was unlikely to stimulate aggregate demand. And so it has not.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    “Preditions?” Seriously? That’s a drunken slur rendered perfectly. In future please write sobrely. . . um, sobberly. . . slobbery . . . before you start to drink.

  3. CSK says:

    I read it first as “perditions.”

  4. michael reynolds says:

    You make good, ballsy predictions at least. Schuler scores higher but he predicts things liker, “It’ll stay fwcked up all year,” which is easy to get right.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The one prediction you both made, and so did everybody else, that you got wrong was who Romney would pick. I mean, Ryan???? REALLY????? I guess nobody realized how bad a politician Romney really was.