Scott Adams, the cartoonist/author behind Dilbert and a host of books, likes to make predictions on his blog and Periscope. Watching his Periscope today, I thought it’d be fun to track and score those predictions based on accuracy. My plan is to update this post from time to time with new predictions and how they panned out.1
My scoring scheme is simple:
Wrong = -1
A wash = 0
Right = 1
Scott often brags that he predicted the Trump presidency back when very few people took the billionaire TV-personality’s candidacy seriously. A 2018 Forbes article on Scott even linked the success of his latest book to the success of that one prediction. So let’s start our scoring there.
Prediction #1 – Trump will be president
While trying to find the blog post in which this prediction first appeared, I ran across an April 20, 2011 post in which Scott Adams dismissed rumors that Donald Trump was considering a run for president. He called the whole thing a big, fat practical joke Trump was playing on the media. He even tagged the post #General Nonsense. Fast forward to August 5, 2015: Scott predicted Hillary would win (with 95% certainty, sans new scandals), but that Trump was the only other real contender. Fast forward a few days to August 13, 2015: The Trump learning curve is strong with Scott as he now predicts Trump will be the next POTUS.
(Claim that Trump’s presidential bid was a joke=-1. As for the later predictions, first that Clinton would win and then that Trump would win? It’s a wash: -1 for the Clinton prediction + 1 for the Trump prediction = 0. Of course, it’s possible Scott Adams has been right this whole time and the Trump presidency is just a big fuckin’ joke à la the Comedian from Watchmen.)
Prediction #2 – “There is no way Trump picks some desiccated Governor from an important state as his running mate”
In the same post where Scott Adams predicted the Trump presidency, he also said, “There is no way Trump picks some desiccated Governor from an important state as his running mate.”2 Trump of course chose Mike Pence who, at the time, was Governor of Indiana–a state which, in 2016, WalletHub ranked #16 in importance to the upcoming election. So Trump’s VP pick was essentially exactly the person Scott said he’d never pick. Scott owned up to this in a piece titled “Why My VP Predictions Were So Bad.”
Cumulative Score: -2
Prediction #3 – Brett Kavanaugh will get Kennedy’s SCOTUS spot within two weeks
In a September 29, 2018 Periscope video, Scott Adams predicted Congress would confirm Brett Kavanaugh, the embattled Trump-pick for the Supreme Court, within two weeks. Sure enough, seven days later, on October 6th, 50 out of 100 United States Senators voted in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. It was a party-line vote with only one Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voting in favor of Kavanaugh and only one Republican, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, offering a tepid dissent by voting ‘present’ rather than yea or nay.3
Cumulative Score: -1
Prediction #4 – 2018 midterm elections go to the Republicans
On the same Periscope where he made Prediction #3, Scott Adams also predicted how the midterms would go. On the off chance Kavanaugh’s nomination fell through, he predicted a “red wave” with Republicans showing up to vote in historic numbers. As for the Democrats, he predicted they would mobilize regardless of the Kavanaugh outcome but not enough to make any real difference (I’m interpreting this to mean they will take back the majority in neither the House nor the Senate).
As of 17 November 2018, 429 of 435 House races had been decided with Democrats taking back the majority in the House. Thirty-three of 35 Senate races had been decided with the Republican Party maintaining its majority in the Senate. The House went from 240 Republicans and 195 Democrats to 231 Democrats and 198 Republicans. The Senate remained largely the same, going from 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats to 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats.4,5
Cumulative Score: -2
1. I realize Scott has made a million and one predictions. Pay me a dollar for each one, and I’ll score ’em all. Otherwise, I’m just scoring the ones a know about.↩
2. In the same blog post, Scott Adams predicted Trump would “move to the center on social issues”. I’m not scoring that one because (1) I’d have to research ALL of his positions at that time and since and (2) figure out where the hell the center lies. Fuck that shit.↩
3. Naylor, B. (2018, October 6). Kavanaugh Confirmed To Supreme Court. NPR. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2018/10/06/654409999/final-senate-vote-on-kavanaugh-nomination-expected-saturday.↩
4. Blood, D., Fei, F., Fox, B., Harlow, M., Kat, J., Nevitt, C.,…Wisniewska, A. (2018). US midterm elections 2018 results: Democrats take control of the House while Republicans are assured a continued Senate majority as counting continues in final races. Financial Times. Retrieved from https://ig.ft.com/us-midterm-elections/.↩
5. Final midterm results are not expected until November 27th at the earliest, when a runoff election is scheduled in Mississippi.↩