Time for my annual predictions for the coming year, once again boldly going where angels, although not fools, fear to tread:
1. The GOP will retain the House in the 2012 elections. Both parties in the House assume that is going to happen, as nine Democrats, most of them veteran members, are retiring, to zip for the GOP.
2. The GOP will gain the Senate. 21 Democrats, 10 Republican and 2 Independent seats are up, and the GOP only needs to flip 4, or 3 if they win the White House. I see the GOP flipping Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska and North Dakota, with possibles in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia. I see the Democrats flipping Massachusetts with a possible in Nevada.
3. Despite a lacklustre group of candidates I do believe that the GOP will gain the White House. The economy is simply too dismal for this election to be anything except a referendum on Obama’s stewardship of the economy, and I do not think that all the campaign money and friendly media in the world can transform this particular pig’s ear into a silk purse. Jay Cost, one of the best political analysts extant, has a good article here detailing the odds against Obama. Heaven knows that missteps by the GOP could help Obama a great deal, but at the end I think there are just too many people who believe the country is on the wrong track for Obama to win.
4. A repeat from last year: either North Korea or Iran will go through a violent revolution that will topple one of the regimes in 2012.