The obligatory list-making predictions for 2016:
1. Governor Herbert will win easily. He has the highest approval rating of any elected official in the state and Utah continues to garner accolades for doing well on multiple fronts.
2. There will be a number of “campaign bills” during this legislative session, meaning bills being run to shore up re-election chances.
3. With four open Senate seats, I predict (hope) at least one woman will get elected (haha).
4. I predict two more women elected to the House.
5. Sadly, I think the Utah GOP will lose two legislative seats, as long as the D’s can field decent candidates.
6. The Utah Supreme Court will (finally) weigh in to the election debate, will remind the GOP that the constitutionality of signature-gathering has already been ruled on, that the state owns the ballot and that any candidate who follows a legal path to the ballot will be on the ballot.
7. Todd Weiler and Curt Bramble will win re-election at convention by getting over 60%. There will be no primary since their opponents are not collecting signatures.
8. Taxes will not be raised this session. (Are you kidding me? It’s an election year!)
9. Medical marijuana use will be expanded, via the Daw/Vickers bill. Baggies of weed still a no-go.
10. A bill will be run making bacon the official meat of the state. (see #2, perhaps)
11. Donald Trump will not be the nominee, but because of his racist, misogynistic, bombastic campaign, the GOP will be too damaged to win the general. President Clinton appoints Trump to be the new Ambassador to Antarctica, where there is no media and no Internet.
12. The GOP will lose their Senate majority (thank Donald Trump), and Senator Hatch’s days as President Pro Tem and Chair of the Finance committee will come to an end. Until 2018 when he runs again.
13. Senator Mike Lee will cruise to re-election and his national prominence will continue to rise.
14. None of the four incumbent Congresspeople will have a serious challenge. Sorry, Doug Owens. Maybe stick to pie baking.
15. ISIS still won’t be contained.
16. Just like every other election cycle, we will hear this is the most important election in our lifetime. Maybe it will be.