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Forecasting the Impact of the Trump Administration, Part II

In uncertain times, Indicators offer a structured way to anticipate how the future will unfold. They also 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.

In January, Globalytica asked its associates to forecast what changes the new 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 Analytic Insider Vol. 4, Issue 4). Now that another 100 days has passed, we are taking a second look at the Indicators to see if events of the last 100 days have improved the accuracy of our associates’ forecasts.

We reviewed our original 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 200 days. Key findings follow. The complete results are displayed in the accompanying graphic. Please note that the events in Charlottesville, Virginia and Administration actions on China trade came after the 200-day mark.

Administration supporters have proved less accurate predictors than critics.
Supporters of the Administration have seen only 33 percent of the Indicators they had wanted to happen come about, while 46 percent of what they were afraid might happen has occurred.

  • Developments that supporters of the Administration accurately predicted include: i) the move of the entire Trump family to Washington, ii) the submission of a budget to Congress, and iii) agreement to renegotiate NAFTA.
  • Contrary developments include: i) Republican resistance in the US Congress to Administration priorities, ii) declining Presidential popularity ratings, and iii) chronic speculation about the viability of the Administration.

Critics of the Administration, on the other hand, have seen 65 percent of the Indicators they wanted to happen come about, but only 21 percent of what they were afraid would happen occur.

  • Developments that have come true that critics of the Administration favored include: i) progress toward containing ISIS, ii) sustaining the US commitment to NATO, and iii) Congress’s failure to implement campaign promises.
  • A key contrary development was the partial reversal of the Obama Administration’s policies toward Cuba.

Both supporters and critics saw their predictive scorecard improve slightly.
Over the second 100 days, both supporters and critics saw the accuracy of their predictions improve by 10 percent. Predictions of things Administration supporters were afraid would come to pass improved by 8 percent, but by only 2 percent for Administration critics.

Globalytica will update and republish this checklist again at the 300-day mark.  You can learn more about how to generate, validate, and present Indicators in the Analyst’s Guide to Indicators by Randolph H. Pherson and John Pyrik, forthcoming in October 2017. To learn more about our online training opportunities, including the two-week online Critical Thinking Fundamentals course taught monthly, click here.