In our Spring 2015 Trends Journal, we wrote “If the election were held today, and Hillary Clinton survives the cash-for-influence scandal, we forecast Clinton as the winner.” Since then, Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders has cast Wall Street as America’s Public Enemy No. 1 and Clinton as a major benefactor. In addition, if growing allegations that Clinton used her office as secretary of state to assist foreign nations and special interests in return for contributions to enrich her family via the Clinton Foundation are substantiated, it will severely damage her electability.
And when we made that forecast last spring, Donald Trump, a true reality show champion, had not yet become a contestant in the race for the White House. Barring an ongoing barrage of self-inflicted wounds, Trump, despite his bluster, missteps, misquotes and numerous distortions of truth and facts (http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/statements/) will remain the front-runner in an open field of relatively weak competitors.
As trend forecasters, we are always clear to state while we can forecast trends, no one can predict the future; there are too many wild cards. The Trump card does not get wilder. Thus, considering the current field of contestants, there is still time for a third-party candidate to become a serious contender in The Presidential Reality Show™.