Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

2012 Predictions

Posted from Culver City, California at 3:55 pm, January 8th, 2012

Continuing a tradition that is now in its fourth straight year (2009, 2010, 2011) here are my likely-to-be-laughably-incorrect predictions for 2012:

  1. Since 2012 is a big election year, the obligatory election result predictions are:
    1. Obama will win re-election with a comparable number of electoral college votes to what he got in 2008. The 2008 election went 365-173 for Obama, so I’ll predict that he does no worse than 320 electoral college votes in 2012. I’m a bit biased on this – I think the guy has done a good job – but barring a huge scandal it seems to me that Mitt Romney (assuming he’s the nominee) is a weaker candidate than John McCain was.
    2. Democrats will lose 1-3 Senate seats. The Senate is currently 53-47 Democratic, but Democrats are defending 23 seats in 2012 while Republicans are defending just 10. Nate Silver at the New York Times is currently projecting Republicans will gain 4.7 seats, but I would expect that Massachusetts will go back to the “D” column and a few other races may be less close after the primaries when the choice of candidates is clearer. Additionally, I don’t think any of the current Republican presidential nominees will inspire high enough turnout to generate a huge number of “R” down-ballot votes.
    3. Democrats will gain 15 seats (+/-5) in the House. This is the first election since redistricting following the 2010 census and most politicians have been able to redraw their district borders in favorable ways. While some politicians will lose seats due to redistricting, overall I don’t think there will be as significant churn as what might otherwise have been expected given the historically low Congressional approval numbers.
  2. Tesla Motors will begin deliveries of the Model-S during July/August and will receive excellent reviews and heavy sales. They will not meet their delivery target of 7,000 vehicles for the year, but things will look good for them going into 2013.
  3. American men’s distance runners will win 2-3 medals (out of nine available) in the 1500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the London Olympics. After many years in which seeing an American even qualify for the finals of an Olympic distance race was a big deal, the current crop of athletes is an exciting bunch.
  4. Following the Arab Spring of 2011, 2012 will see change spread to Iran. The Iranian protests of 2009 did not lead to significant regime change, but coupled with economic impacts of ongoing sanctions the underlying unrest will finally lead to change.
  5. The long rumored Apple television will finally launch in 2012. The initial incarnation will offer simplicity and iTunes integration as its major selling points – it will wirelessly sync with other Apple devices, and will probably include some interesting new feature such as a built-in DVR, but will not be a replacement for cable. While it would be great to be able to watch network television on-demand, perhaps streamed from Apple servers, without Steve Jobs it’s tough to imagine Apple being able to negotiate the required deals to make that happen with anyone other than smaller networks and maybe a handful of premium services like HBO.
  6. Despite a handful of analysts predicting doom, the Euro will easily survive 2012. Similarly, much like the US jettisoned the Articles of Confederation for a Constitution that granted stronger centralized powers, 2012 will see centralized European institutions strengthened to transfer some power from individual countries to EU institutions.
  7. The Browns will not draft Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Team president Mike Holmgren is a guy who thinks he can turn a lower-round choice into a successful QB, and the Browns need a lot of good players rather than just one, so I suspect they will try to shop their draft pick (perhaps to Washington) in the hopes of getting a few extra picks.
  8. Virgin Galactic’s space plane will have several successful test flights by the end of 2012, and will be preparing for customer flights for 2013. SpaceX will successfully launch two missions to the ISS but will not launch the Falcon Heavy as currently scheduled on their launch manifest.
  9. After hearing arguments in March related to the Affordable Care Act the Supreme Court decision will not meaningfully affect the law. Similarly, despite political blustering there will be no significant changes made to the law either through Congressional action or budgetary maneuvering. While this law isn’t perfect by any means, as a self-employed individual I’ll nevertheless admit that I’m looking forward to the benefits its implementation will provide.
  10. The Dow Jones will finish the year near 13,000 (it’s at 12,360 as I write this), approximately where it was before the financial crisis began. The fact that companies are sitting on record amounts of cash and seem (finally) to be using some of it to hire again, and also that interest rates seem unlikely to rise any time soon, are both things that should help the stock market. If Obama wins the election then it seems likely that capital gains tax rates could rise, but that seems unlikely to significantly affect the market until 2013.
  11. Tiger Woods will have an exciting 2012, winning 1-2 majors and 4-6 tournaments. He finished 2011 well, and after two years without winning he’s got to have the fire to win again that should power him to work as hard as he did early in his career.
  12. Hollywood will announce that they are re-making at least one of the following five movies: Grease, It’s a Wonderful Life, Spartacus, Jason and the Argonauts, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The movie studios can’t stop recycling films, so even though this prediction is a complete shot in the dark it wouldn’t be surprising to see it happen.
  13. Either Yahoo or AOL, or both, will not survive 2012. I’ve been predicting that Yahoo would be purchased for years and have been wrong for years; maybe 2012 is the year I finally get this right, but I’m throwing AOL in there as well to hedge my bet.

Check back in January 2013 to mock me for being wrong. For anyone who cares to start the mocking early, or who wants to include some of their own predictions, the comments link is below.

2 responses to “2012 Predictions”

  1. 1. The Euro will fail at some point this year causing a cascade of economic problems resulting in the DOW to touch the 6000 mark.
    2. Ma Long will win the Olympic gold in Men’s Single Table Tennis and I’ll be in the stands watching it.

    1. If you are really going to the Olympics then you need to start a journal so that you can share the adventure. Also, remember the part in Forrest Gump where he played ping pong with Ma Long in the land of China? That was awesome.

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