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Union University Department of Political Science
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Predictions for 2014

Jan 3, 2014

With all the pundits making predictions for the coming year, the Union Political Science faculty have decided to make some of their own predictions.  See what the faculty predict and then come back next year and see how well they did. Our guess is that Dr. Watson's predictions will be the least likely to come true but they are definitely the most amusing. 

Hunter Baker's 2014 predictions:

1.  The GOP gets the Senate back after eight years in the wilderness.  The majority leader will be chosen based on his/her ability to control Ted Cruz.

2.  The GOP increases its majority in the House and further marginalizes Nancy Pelosi who will absolutely not retire.

3.  President Obama appoints a new member of the Supreme Court.  He thinks seriously about appointing Hillary, but she is after bigger game and would not accept the job.

4.  The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, never struck down as to the federal government, continues to wreak havoc in positive ways on the HHS mandate.

5.  One Direction breaks up.  Harry goes solo.

Sean Evans' 2014 predictions:

1.  Same sex marriage will be a reality for most Americans.  There are 19 lawsuits challenging bans on same sex marriage in various states and federal courts will strike down the same sex marriage bans in over half of these cases.  Simply put, Democrats have appointed slightly over half of all federal judges and same sex supporters are smart enough to file suits in districts where there is a good chance a Democratic judge will hear the case.  With 18 states currently allowing same sex marriage, more than half of the states with more than half of the population will allow same sex marriage by the end of 2014. Moreover since Democratic appointees are majorities on 7 of the 13 Circuit Courts and there is a split on 2 others, the cases are unlikely to be overturned at the appellate court level.

 2. Insurance premiums will rise only modestly for 2015.  The Obama Administration has clearly demonstrated that they will do anything to preserve the law.  One of the provisions in the ACA allows the government to bail out insurance companies if they lose too much money.  The Administration will tap this fund to minimize losses and prevent large insurance premium increases and the feared death spiral.  Moreover, the insurance companies want health care reform to work because it guarantees them customers.  They will minimize premium increases to convince more people to buy insurance.

 3. It will be a bad year for the tea party in primaries.  All six Senators up for reelection who face a tea party challenger (Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas,  Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Thad Cochran of Mississippi) will win their primary. Moreover, tea party candidates will not win the GOP primary in key states such as Georgia and Alaska. The simple fact is that Senators and the establishment have learned from Robert Bennett (R-UT) and Richard Lugar's (R-IN) primary defeats the past two election cycles and will be prepared.

 4. The GOP will barely take back the Senate. The following seats are most likely to fall to the GOP in this order (SD, WV, MT, AR, AK, LA, NC). If the Republicans can find some good candidates who can raise money, they have outside shots in CO, MN, and NH.

 5. Democrats will pick up governor mansions as Corbett (PA), Page (ME), and Scott (FL) are likely to lose while Snyder (MI) is in trouble.  The GOP have good shots at picking up IL (Quinn) and Arkansas (open) with outside shots in CO (Hickenlooper) and Connecticut (Malloy).

Greg Ryan's predictions:

1. The P5 + 1 talks with Iran will produce some type of agreement that significantly lowers sanctions on Iran and opens the way for significant economic transaction between the West & Iran.

2. Egypt will descend into a low grade civil war between the ruling military authorities and the Muslim Brotherhood.

3. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will face increasing difficulties at home and abroad due to his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, spiraling debt associated with Abenomics & continuing problems with Fukushima reactor clean up.

 Micah Watson's predictions:

1. President Obama will announce he is retiring . . . to become president of Union University.

2. Dr. Baker, MD, will win the PSC March Madness Bracket. Dr. Baker, Ph.D, will not turn in his bracket in time.

3. Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan will read Plato's Republic and sorrowfully acknowledge that their heads, hearts, and stomachs are all out of order. Selena Gomez will begin mentoring them.

4. Hilary Clinton will make clear she is not running for president in 2016.

5. A Duck Dynasty figure will appear on Union University's campus for an event.

6. John Kerry will almost start an international incident with an inadvertent comment about Vladimir Putin without his shirt. Joe Biden will definitely start an international incident with a comment about the same.

7. Gitmo will not be closed.

8.  New York City will ban additives, preservatives, and tax-payers.