Getting Out Our 2018 Crystal Ball


With the holiday season upon us, now is the time when pundits in Washington and Sacramento get out their crystal balls and offer their unsolicited predictions on what will happen in politics, policy, and government in 2018.

Now that we have the “Right by the Bay” blog at PRI, we’re joining the ranks of Carnac the Magnificent this year with our own political prognostications.

On a special holiday edition of the PRI podcast, PRI’s President, CEO & Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy Sally Pipes, Senior Vice President Rowena Itchon, Koret Senior Fellow in Education and Senior Director of the Center for Education Lance Izumi, Director of Development Ben Smithwick, and I each give our predictions on 3 key questions facing California and the U.S. as we enter 2018.

First, we ask whether Obamacare will be repealed and replaced next year, an issue of key concern for Sally, who says that the recent tax reform vote repealing the individual mandate amounts to the implosion of Obamacare.  Rowena is very optimistic about its repeal and replacement next year, while I think it doesn’t stand a chance of being repealed.  Lance is more pessimistic given how the GOP fumbled the health care vote earlier this year, while Ben thinks there is a chance that some reforms could pass Congress.

Next, we asked for predictions on who will control Congress in 2018.  Rowena and Lance both thought that the Republicans would maintain their majorities, while Ben though there was strong momentum for Democrats in 2018.  Sally said a growing Democratic wave means that Republicans in Congress must act now to pass free-market health reforms.  I went with the chaos scenario – a 50-50 Senate and a narrow GOP House majority.

Finally, we asked who will be the next Governor of California.  Sally and Ben put their money on Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, though Rowena thinks that frontrunner Gavin Newsom should put his ex-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle on his kitchen cabinet.  Lance thinks that Antonio Villaraigosa will be favored given his record as a school reformer as Mayor of Los Angeles.  And I think the 2018 governor’s race is an example of the tortoise and the hare(s).  Once the two frontrunners are exposed to the scrutiny they will surely face over their problems with women, the “tortoise” aka State Treasurer John Chiang will prevail.

To listen to more of our 2018 predictions and our thoughts on the year that was, listen to our special “PRI Year End Awards” podcast, which will be available for your listening pleasure on Friday, December 22.

Tim Anaya is communications director for Pacific Research Institute.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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