Each year at this time, I like to use my column to go out on a limb and predict 10 big news stories I believe will happen in the coming year. Usually I get two or three right, come close on a few others, and then I’m way off on the rest. Click here to read last year’s predictions and see how I did for 2015.
10. The Arizona Cardinals win the Super Bowl.
For decades the Cardinals were one of the symbols of NFL futility in three different cities—Chicago, St. Louis, and Phoenix. They came close to winning a Super Bowl several years ago with Kurt Warner, and this year they’ll ride the MVP season of Carson Palmer to finally get it done.
9. Captain America: Civil War will be the top grossing movie of the year.
There are some blockbuster franchises on the cinematic deck: Disney has live action Jungle Book and Finding Nemo/Alice in Wonderland sequels, Star Trek Beyond, Independence Day 2, another Ghostbusters, X-Men: Apocalypse, and the first Star Wars standalone anthology offering. But the year will come down to two films integrating multiple bankable box office brands, and in the end Captain America: Civil War will edge out Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice for one web crawling reason: The Avengers plus Spider-Man is a bigger draw than Superman/Batman plus Wonder Woman.
8. Absolutely nothing will come from the investigation into Hillary’s emails.
Anybody thinking the Obama injustice department is going to seriously pursue legal action against the only viable Democrat presidential candidate hasn’t been paying attention since, like, forever.
7. Islamic State will pull off its first successful attack on U.S. soil.
Let’s all pray I am wrong about this. But given our porous border security, lack of real refugee/immigrant vetting, and the Islamic State’s growing popularity/growth and ability to pull off massacres with limited assets (see Paris), it’s probably just a matter of time before our foreign policy strategy of Russian roulette leads to a tragedy.
6. Texas Senator Ted Cruz will be the GOP nominee.
Cruz will win Iowa, South Carolina, and then sweep the South on Super Tuesday to all but wrap up the nomination by March 15th.
5. Donald Trump will not run third party, nor will anybody else significant.
By placing himself on the ballot as a Republican, Trump has already barred himself from legally being on the ballot as an independent. That includes key states like Ohio. He’s barely spent any of his fortune on his GOP primary, so to believe he’s going to unload the even more cumbersome resources it takes to run as an independent is not realistic. This is why you won’t see anybody else significant do it, either. It’s just too expensive, and the GOP establishment will be defeated anyway.
4. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will be Cruz’s running mate.
She might check every box: executive experience, popular governor of a conservative state so she gets the base, fresh face, female, ethnic, and open about her faith.
3. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine will be Hillary Clinton’s running mate.
Democrats were annihilated by white voters in 2014, and Kaine represents one of the key states on the Electoral College map—Virginia. Kaine was also governor of the battleground state and he also previously ran the DNC.
2. The Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
Our long national nightmare is over. The resurgent Chicago Cubs finally end American sports’ most infamous streak of championship futility by winning their first World Series since 1908.
1. Cruz will be elected the 45th President of the United States.
Cruz will win the following states (278 electoral votes): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Clinton will win the following (260): California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Cruz will become just the second Republican since 1988 to win the popular vote as well.
Steve Deace has endorsed Ted Cruz for president.