Saturday, January 2, 2016

Everyone Was Wrong In 2015

Was there a worse year for the Village punditry in recent memory than 2015?  They were wrong about virtually everything in politics last year, as Politico reminds us.

Forecasting political trends is almost an American pastime. So is getting those forecasts woefully wrong. Politico Magazine has published an annual worst political predictions list twice before, but we’ve never had quite the fodder that we did this year. In the 2016 presidential race, one presumed front-runner after another fell to the bottom of the polls; a reality TV star is currently as admired as the pope; and a socialist and a retired neurosurgeon gained massive followings. In Washington, a man who once wanted to give his “undivided attention” to the Ways and Means Committee is now speaker of the House; and a president about to enter his final year and facing a hostile Congress reached deals on climate change, Iran’s nuclear program and international trade. Of course, we can’t blame political pundits for being wrong in a year so full of surprises; but that won’t stop us from having some fun calling them out. Herewith, the political predictions gone wrong in 2015.

Among the stinkers: That Joe Biden, Liz Warren, and Mitt Romney would join the 2016 race, and that Trump would drop out, and that Scott Walker was going to win the nomination.  These were major predictions that pretty much all the big names in politics got wrong in 2015.

These same voices are telling us now that the GOP will come down to a Cruz-Rubio fight, and the victor will easily beat Hillary.

Oh, and let's not forget the dismal state of political polling in general in 2015, too.  The pollsters were so badly wrong here in Kentucky about Jack Conway's five point lead (that was only wrong by 14 points!) that they fired the polling outfit...the same one that predicted the 2014 Mitch McConnell-Alison Grimes race would be close instead of a 16-point blowout.

The one thing that remains constant is how terribly wrong the Beltway types are, and yet people continue to listen to them.

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