The Year of Wrong Predictions: A Look Back at 2023’s Biggest Political Missteps

The Year of Wrong Predictions: A Look Back at 2023's Biggest Political Missteps

From civil wars to presidential candidacies, experts and pundits missed the mark in their forecasts for 2023

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the predictions made by politicians, analysts, and commentators about the political landscape of 2023. From grandiose prophecies of civil wars and unlikely presidential victories to economic downturns and unexpected primary challengers, the year was rife with inaccurate forecasts. In this article, we examine some of the most notable wrong predictions, highlighting the human fallibility that underlies even the most confident assertions.

Civil war will break out in the U.S., and Elon Musk will be elected president:

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s outlandish Twitter thread predicting a civil war in the United States and Elon Musk’s presidency was a prime example of hubris and wishful thinking. Medvedev’s predictions of California and Texas becoming independent states, a Texas-Mexico alliance, and Musk winning the presidential election all proved to be far from reality. The absence of a civil war, the lack of secession, and Musk’s ineligibility for the presidency showcased the fallacy of this prediction.

Donald Trump will not be indicted in Manhattan:

Larry Kudlow’s confident assertion that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg would be unable to indict Donald Trump due to a weak case quickly crumbled when reports broke of a grand jury voting to indict the former president. Bragg’s subsequent announcement of 34 counts against Trump further debunked Kudlow’s claim, highlighting the unpredictability of legal proceedings.

There will be a recession in 2023:

Despite predictions of an impending recession in 2023, the economy proved resilient and continued to thrive. With robust job growth, a drop in inflation rates, and strong GDP growth, the anticipated economic downturn failed to materialize. This prediction serves as a reminder of the limitations of economic forecasting and the ever-changing nature of financial markets.

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Joe Biden will face a serious primary challenger:

Speculation surrounding President Joe Biden’s chances of facing a significant primary challenger abounded, with comparisons to Jimmy Carter’s presidency and doubts about his renomination. Karl Rove predicted a challenge reminiscent of Ted Kennedy’s run against Carter in 1980. However, as the year progressed, no significant Democrat emerged to challenge Biden, underscoring the resilience of his position within the party.

Chris Licht “ain’t even close to done yet”:

Michael LaRosa’s statement about CNN chairman and CEO Chris Licht’s future proved to be ill-fated when Licht was fired just two days later. The swift turn of events highlighted the volatility of the media landscape and the unpredictability of career trajectories.

Kevin McCarthy won’t be elected speaker; he’ll drop out:

Despite a prolonged voting process, Kevin McCarthy persisted and was ultimately elected speaker of the House in January. McCarthy’s subsequent ousting after less than 10 months in the role showcased the fluidity of political dynamics and the challenges of maintaining leadership positions.

Firing Tucker Carlson will be the end of Fox News:

Glenn Beck’s prediction that firing Tucker Carlson would spell doom for Fox News was proven false as the network continued to thrive. Although primetime ratings dipped momentarily, they quickly rebounded, and Fox News remained a dominant force in cable news. The network’s ability to adapt and maintain its viewership demonstrated the resilience of its brand.

DeSantis’ campaign launch on Twitter Spaces is ‘genius’:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ highly anticipated presidential campaign launch on Twitter Spaces fell short of expectations due to technical glitches and interruptions by Elon Musk. The underwhelming debut underscored the challenges of leveraging new platforms for political announcements and the importance of controlled environments for successful launches.

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Nikki Haley’s presidential candidacy will be less viable than Mike Pence’s:

Nikki Haley’s presidential prospects seemed uncertain, given her ambiguous position in relation to former President Trump. However, as other candidates faltered, Haley emerged as a strong contender, surpassing expectations and gaining momentum in the race. Her rise demonstrated the fluidity of political fortunes and the unpredictability of primary campaigns.

Housing and rental prices are going to come down:

President Joe Biden’s prediction that housing and rental prices would decrease proved to be wishful thinking. Instead, housing costs continued to rise, contributing to overall inflation rates. The persistence of high housing costs served as a reminder of the complexities of economic trends and the challenges of affordability.


The year 2023 was a reminder of the fallibility of political predictions. From grandiose prophecies to economic forecasts, experts and pundits often missed the mark. The inaccurate forecasts showcased the ever-changing nature of politics and the complexity of the world we live in. As we move into a new year, it is essential to approach predictions with caution, acknowledging the inherent uncertainties and limitations of prognostication.