Nostradamus I'm not, but a blogpost at my friend Tom Harper's blog "Who Hijacked Our Country?" ( http://whohijackedourcountry.blogspot.com/2013/12/predictions-for-2014.html
) inspired me to do some prognosticating.
I agree with most of what Tom predicted. His predictions are sound. I added a few in the comment section, and I'll summarize his thoughts, and my thoughts from the comment. And, I will add a few!
Tom says he believe the balance of power in the House and Senate will stay the same. Mitch McConnell won't be re-elected, and it will be the Democrat who beats him (and not the "tea party" primary challenger). I think that's likely, and I'll add that I think Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (D) will win re-election but that it will be a very close race.
There will be plenty more political brinksmanship when it comes to the budget and the debt ceiling, but the GOP will have learned its lesson in 2013 and will seek compromise rather than promoting government shutdowns and such in 2014.
But I think the hard-right element of the GOP-led House will try to get the ball rolling on impeachment, and while it will be all over the news, the movement won't gain traction in Congress. This will represent a defeat for the "tea party". Darrell Issa will be one of the people leading the impeachment movement.
Republicans Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker and Chris Christie will all announce they are running for president. Cruz will be plagued by his dual citizenship and will be repeatedly criticized for renouncing Canadian citizenship. Christie will be the immediate frontrunner, but Walker will gain traction.
Rick Scott will not win re-election as governor of Florida. John Kitzhaber will announce he is running again in Oregon, but he will not win re-election (he will be defeated in the primary by another Democrat, who will go on to win the governorship in November).
I'll go out on a limb and say that Hillary Clinton will announce she WON'T run for president, and this will start a scramble in the Democratic party, as many will believe a Joe Biden candidacy would not be successful. Maybe not yet time for Elizabeth Warren, either. It will be interesting, whatever happens.
The deficit will continue to shrink, at a rate that will suggest we should once again see a surplus during a Democratic presidency.
By around the beginning of April, target enrollment in Affordable Health Care will have been reached, if not exceeded. Moves will be made to "fix" things for those who lost their coverage. The program's approval ratings will be at least 50% by the time of the elections. The president's approval rating will gradually rise as the popularity of the program increases. While these things won't necessarily bode well for the midterm elections, they will represent a nice and timely rebound for the left. Despite the increasing popularity of the program, the GOP will continue to make health care their main issue for the midterms.
Same-sex marriages will be legal in roughly half the states by the end of the year.
The unemployment rate will be below 7% by June, and will be somewhere around 6.7% by the end of the year (and somewhere around 6.0% by the end of Obama's presidency).
A few more states will vote to legalize marijuana. I think likely places for this are Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, maybe New Mexico, and maybe even a surprise state from the Northeast, like Vermont or New Hampshire. I don't see states in the South going this route for a long time.
And finally, more advertisers will leave the Rush Limbaugh show as he continues to make one addled statement after another, and FOX "News" ratings will decline as more and more people continue to get their "news" from The Daily Show and Colbert Report.