2016 Fearless Forecast in Review

December 19, 2016

Last December, we made some bold predictions for 2016 – and we turned out to be right. Mostly.

To see our bold predictions for 2017, click here.

Thumbs UPThe polls will be wrong.
 Oh yes. And it wasn’t just the polls, but also the statisticians who political junkies rely upon to be smarter than the surveys themselves. Starting with Ted Cruz’s surprise win in the Feb. 1 Iowa Caucuses, and ending with Donald Trump’s shocking victories in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, 2016 was a lousy year for most pollsters and pundits.

Playboy won’t be a player. Much to our surprise, the new, non-nude Playboy still is alive and kicking. In October, Playboy announced that, geared toward resonating with younger, more tech-savvy readers, for the first time, it will be available in the iTunes App and Google Play stores. Playboy also grabbed national attention by featuring a Hijabi Muslim woman, journalist Noor Tagouri, in its October “Renegades” issue.

The First Amendment will be as polarizing as the Second. Thumbs UP Due to a string of tragic mass shootings, gun rights issues remained front page news. But free speech debates raged all year. From Wikileaks to fake news, and from Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protests to President-elect Trump’s proposal to revoke the citizenship of flag burners, the First Amendment was a hot potato.

Two-year college degrees will become chic. The jury is still out on this one. A national approach to drastically reduce the costs of four-year colleges continues to face long odds. It remains to be seen whether this will lead to more young people going to community college in the coming years.

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More money will be spent – and wasted – on political ads. Hillary Clinton and her political allies far outspent Team Trump on TV, and had little to show for it. In the four states where the Clinton campaign spent the most on television spots – Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, she went 0 for 4.

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A woman’s place is in the Millennium Falcon. When the aliens finally invade, the girl growing up today won’t be waiting for a boy to save her. A science fiction epic in which a young woman pilots Han Solo’s spaceship and wields Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber became the highest-grossing domestic movie of all time. Melissa McCarthy and three women succeeded Bill Murray and three men as Ghostbusters, and Dory replaced Nemo as your kids’ favorite fish. This month has introduced two more female sci-fi blockbusters – Felicity Jones in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers.