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Assessing the Impact of the Trump Administration at the One-Year Mark

In times of conflict and uncertainty, Indicators protect you against Hindsight Bias and Confirmation Bias because they provide an objective baseline from which to begin—and continue to evaluate the accuracy of—your analysis. Developing a list of Indicators is only the first step; tracking them periodically over time uncovers their true value.

On the anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration, Globalytica continues its exercise in using Indicators to track its associates’ predictions for the new administration. (See details below the graphic.)

In the past year, almost two-thirds of the predictions generated by administration critics have proved correct. In contrast, less than half of the predictions of administration supporters have been realized. In addition, over the past year 58 percent of what administration supporters feared might happen has come about, but only 44 percent of what administration critics’ feared would happen has occurred.

From January 2017 to January 2018:

  • Administration critics have been more prescient, anticipating the difficulties in establishing the Executive Branch, frictions within the Republican Party, a nationalist and protectionist foreign policy, and strong anti-immigration sentiments. Much of what they feared would happen has not transpired, including defunding Planned Parenthood, disestablishing the EXIM bank, repealing Roe v. Wade, and experiencing a declining economy.
  • Administration supporters have seen less progress made toward implementing their anticipated agenda as the administration has failed to repeal Obamacare, build the wall, produce a balanced budget, jettison the Iran deal, or increase funding for the military. On the other hand, as predicted, the administration has eviscerated many government regulations and taken a hard line on trade. Much of what supporters feared might happen, however, has transpired, including continued terrorist attacks, partisan resistance in Congress, a sustained Russia investigation, and continued government gridlock.

More recently:

  • Administration critics’ concerns about an upswing in racial tensions and increased criticism of the Intelligence Community, especially the FBI, have been realized.
  • Administration supporters have proved correct in predicting the passage of major tax cuts and the opening of investigations into Hilary Clinton.

In sum, over the past year:

  • Administration critics have been better predictors of Indicators they expected to happen. More than three out of five events they expected to happen have occurred; in contrast, only two out of five things they feared have come true. But an increasing number of things they were afraid would happen are starting to come true.
  • Administration supporters have fared less well. Only two out of five Indicators they expected to happen have occurred and nearly three out of five events they were afraid would happen have transpired.

Looking ahead, some Indicators to watch for are the potential for greater infighting within the Republican Party, an upswing in popular demonstrations, the results of the FBI investigation, a less healthy stock market or economy, a strengthened female voice in politics, and the potential for one or more foreign misadventures.

Globalytica will periodically refresh and publish this checklist to continue demonstrating the importance and value of Indicators. You can learn more about these techniques in Analyst’s Guide to Indicators by Randolph H. Pherson and John Pyrik. To learn more about our associated training opportunities, including the two-week online Critical Thinking Fundamentals course taught monthly, click here.

The Method

In January 2017, Globalytica asked its associates to forecast what changes the Trump Administration would bring in its first year. After the Administration had been in place for 100 days, we assessed the accuracy of our associates’ predictions (see Vol. 4, Issue 4). We took a second look at the 200-day mark (see Vol. 4, Issue 8) and a third look at the 300-day mark (see Vol. 4, Issue 10). Predictive accuracy is calculated as the percent of the 48 boxes in each quadrant of the chart that are shaded. Percent improvement is the net percent of additional boxes shaded since the 300-day mark.

At the one-year mark, we assess the accuracy of each prediction over the entire year. Each Indicator was rescored using a 5-point scale to reflect the extent to which the Indicator has come true. The complete results are displayed in the graphic above.