Written by Leland Faust
As those who follow me know, I am a regular reader of Barron’s who tries to hold it accountable for predictions about movements in stock market indexes, individual securities, interest rates, economic conditions, and many other metrics pertaining to business and investing. The record is spotty to say the least. So what happens when Barron’s ventures into the world of predicting political outcomes?
In its June 8, 2015 cover story, Barron’s decided to weigh in on the Republican presidential campaign. It certainly got one thing right – the race was not going to be about substance. The cover story made that perfectly clear with its title: “It’s Showtime!” There were 19 candidates which Barron’s considered, and it said seven would still be in the running after a majority of the GOP delegates had been selected. Who were the anointed seven? Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich. Notice anyone missing from that list? Barron’s observed that Donald Trump was then polling 4% and had “little chance of making it to the final heat.”
In June 2015 Barron’s said it was too early to declare the winner, but the real race was “Jeb versus Kasich.”
I suggest Barron’s stick to its knitting and feature articles on its area of expertise in business and finance. It’s hard enough to get that right, let alone trying to venture into uncharted territory in the political sphere. We should leave the predictions of political outcomes to the professional political pundits, knowing full well that they will get it wrong too. Let’s remember what Yogi Berra said: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”