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Forecasting the Impact of the Trump Administration, Part III

In uncertain times, Indicators protect you against Hindsight Bias because they provide an initial, objective baseline from which to begin your analysis. Developing a list of Indicators is the first step in the process; tracking them over time releases their true power.

This month, Globalytica continues its exercise in which associates were asked to forecast what impacts the Trump administration would have over the course of the first 300 days in office. (See the New Year’s Edition, Volume 4, Issue 4 and Volume 4, Issue 8 for previous articles in the series.)

Since President Trump was inaugurated, about one-third of the predictions generated by Administration supporters in January 2017 have been realized while two-thirds of the predictions generated by Administration critics have occurred. In contrast, almost two-thirds of what Trump supporters’ feared might happen has come about, but only one-third of what Administration critics feared might happen has occurred.

A review of the past 100 days reveals several significant developments that buttressed some of these predictions, including:

  • The events in Charlottesville and other cities fanning racial tensions
  • Terrorist attacks in Las Vegas and New York City
  • Trump’s decision not to certify the Iran accord and send it to Congress for action
  • Congress’s failure to repeal Obamacare coupled with executive actions undercutting the program
  • The introduction of major tax legislation that would increase the deficit
  • Sputtering efforts to renegotiate NAFTA
  • More executive actions reducing regulation, especially relating to finance and the environment
  • Judge Moore’s primary victory in Alabama and Bannon’s redefined political role
  • Escalating tensions with North Korea (that were not identified as a factor in January)

In sum, during the past 100 days:

  • Both administration supporters and administration critics witnessed a significant increase in the occurrence of things they were afraid would happen.
  • In contrast, few additional things occurred that supporters or critics of the administration would have liked to happen.

This would suggest that tensions within the country are mounting.

What Predictions Have Not Happened?

Predictions that have not come to pass include:

  • Trump stops using his personal Twitter account
  • Former President Obama organizes a successful grassroots opposition campaign
  • Health care costs are reduced
  • The EXIM Bank is abandoned
  • Roe v. Wade is repealed
  • The country experiences continual, unchecked rioting
  • The country comes together

Globalytica will update and republish this checklist again at the one-year mark in the Trump Administration. You can learn more about how to generate, validate, and present Indicators in our most recent publication, 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, Globalytica asked its associates to forecast what changes the Trump Administration would bring in its first year. In March, 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). Predictive accuracy is calculated as the percent of the 48 boxes in each quadrant of the chart that are filled in. Percent improvement is the net percent of additional boxes filled in from the last 100-day period.

Now, at the 300-day mark, we assess how much the events of the last 100 days have improved the accuracy of our associates’ forecasts. We reviewed the four lists and rescored each Indicator using a 5-point scale to reflect the extent to which the Indicator has come about in the first 300 days. The complete results are displayed in the graphic above.