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CNN  — 

The new year is a time for fresh starts, resolutions and curiosity about what’s to come in the year ahead. As they do every year, an intrepid cohort of CNN Opinion contributors have channeled their inner prognosticator to predict some of the most anticipated events in 2024. We asked them all manner of questions, from who will win the Super Bowl to who will be elected president. You can see the full feature here.

But before we get to what they think is in store for 2024, let’s take a look at what they predicted for 2023.

When it came to predicting which TV series would get the top awards this year, our contributors struggled — and badly. Only two, Elliot Williams and Jeff Yang, correctly forecasted that the Emmy for best drama would go to “Succession.” And not a single one of our oracles guessed that “Ted Lasso” would be named best comedy.

Yang’s power of prediction also proved to be on point for movies. He and three other contributors — Laura CoatesDean Obeidallah and Sara Stewart — correctly surmised that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” would garner the Oscar for best picture.

Our forecasters struggled, too, with predicting the year in sports. Not a single contributor guessed that the Texas Rangers would win the World Series, and only two — Paul Callan and Coates — were correct in choosing the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl.

On politics, however, our contributors shined. Nearly all foresaw that President Joe Biden would lead the polls as the 2024 Democratic presidential nominee. As for the leading GOP contender, contributors were split between former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Among those who rightly predicted that Trump and Biden would poll ahead of the pack were Jill Filipovic and Frida Ghitis, who both guessed that 2024 would feel a lot like 2020.

2020 déjà vu

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Filipovic and Ghitis were spot on. And now, as we step into an election year, they are still in agreement about their presidential predictions: Biden will win the 2024 election. Said Ghitis: “Between Trump and Biden, unexcited Dems will be persuaded that Biden is immeasurably better than the alternative.”

They’re not the only ones who think so. All but four of our contributors are predicting that Biden will be reelected president. Of the four who broke from the pack, Joey Jackson sees Nikki Haley winning over the voters, while Alice Stewart and SE Cupp believe that Trump will see another day in the Oval Office. Holly Thomas, too, is betting that Trump will be elected president, though she noted that her guess is “Predicted in the spirit of packing an umbrella to ensure it doesn’t rain.”

There was far less agreement among contributors, however, about which party will control each chamber of Congress after the 2024 election. While a number of our oracles think that each party will control one chamber, a handful are guessing that Democrats will control both. Only two — Allison Hope and Yang — predict that the GOP will win a majority of seats in both the House and Senate.

The question of who will reside in the White House will have an impact far beyond our borders, argued Ghitis, as she looked ahead to the geopolitical risks the world will face in 2024. “The answer will have severe repercussions across the globe. A second Trump presidency would almost certainly be more extreme on multiple fronts. … If Biden is reelected, the chances of restoring global stability are much greater.”

A Mideast Peace Prize?

Demonstrators hold a rally demanding a cease fire in Gaza in Washington, DC.

This year, the question of who will win the coveted Nobel Peace Prize was a challenging one for our contributors. Some predict the prize will be awarded to a climate leader — Nemonte Nenquimo, thinks Filipovic, while Sara Stewart is “Rooting for this to be Greta Thunberg’s year!”

Ghitis and Alice Stewart believe that, after more than a year and a half of his courageous leadership during the war in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky will be awarded the prize. Don Lincoln is forecasting, instead, that it will go to jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

But the most common guess among our sages is someone involved in the effort to bring peace to the Middle East. Who that person is, however, our prognosticators can’t agree on. Cupp and Gene Seymour think it will be the Qatari negotiators in the Israeli hostage deal. Megan Ranney, on the other hand, is predicting Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, given his country’s role in the Abraham Accords. Hope thinks that it will be Israel’s opposition leader Benny Gantz. Meanwhile, Thomas has no name to offer up, but contends that the winner will be “Whoever manages to mediate a lasting ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.”

Mideast peace will continue to be top of mind in the new year. Whoever is able to bring about an end to the conflict, “I hope they do so, quickly,” said Ranney.

A game of inflation roulette

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If anything sent heads spinning in 2023, it was the economy. The year saw interest rates climb higher and higher, as the Federal Reserve tried to tame inflation. Many economists feared a recession was imminent and we all waited with bated breath to see if the Fed could right the ship without a major economic downturn.

To many an investor’s delight, inflation cooled, the economy avoided a recession and the stock market is surging. But the question of where inflation will go next year is very much an open one. Some of our more optimistic oracles think the average inflation rate will be lower next year. Ghitis thinks “The Fed will slay the inflation dragon. Inflation will drop to 2.6%.” Hope, Jackson and Ranney are forecasting an even lower drop to 2.5%. For Seymour, guessing the inflation rate is like throwing darts at a dart board. “Umm… 3? No, 7… No, 5… No… 2, final answer!!!” he said, eventually landing on the lowest prediction of the group.

Others are less hopeful that the rate of inflation will come down. Filipovic predicts an average inflation rate of 4.0%, while Roxanne Jones believes it “will hover around 4.5%.”

Of course, consumers aren’t the only ones who have to worry about inflation. As the 2024 presidential campaign ramped up this year, Lanhee Chen, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, pointed out that Biden’s messaging around inflation could be key to winning over voters. “(T)he trick for Biden is to emphasize his accomplishments while not appearing to declare prematurely that the battles against inflation and recession have been won,” he wrote in July.

Little optimism for the Eagles’ redemption

Our contributors predict redemption for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2024 Super Bowl.

Though our contributors are experts in politics, culture and world affairs, they are also passionate about their sports teams.

Their most popular pick to win the World Series this year is Alice Stewart’s hometown team, the Atlanta Braves, with the Mets and Yankees tied for the number two guess. Thomas is bullish on the Mets, while Yang is banking on the Yankees “out of sheer perverse loyalty.”

When it comes to football, our prognosticators’ favorite to win the Super Bowl is the same team they predicted last year: the Philadelphia Eagles. Cupp, Jones, Alice Stewart, Sara Stewart, Thomas and Yang were all optimistic about the Eagles’ prospects last December, in large part due to the promise of their quarterback Jalen Hurts. This year, Sara Stewart is the only one of that bunch who is willing to place her bets on the Eagles for a second time. The Eagles still won a majority of predictions, largely from the support of contributors who did not guess that they’d win last year. It goes to show that our oracles are not quick to forget a prediction gone wrong.

Cupp and Alice Stewart now think the Kansas City Chiefs will walk away victorious for the second year in a row, while Jones and Yang are banking on the San Francisco 49ers. As for Thomas’ guess: “The Miami Dolphins. They’ve been so consistent, and the Eagles blew it last year.”

Among the sports questions, there is the most consensus about which team will bring home the most gold medals at the 2024 summer Olympics in Paris. All but two contributors are choosing Team USA; Kent Sepkowitz and Seymour are the outliers, both guessing China. As for the athlete who will win the most gold medals? A majority think Simone Biles will have another outstanding year.

‘We just made a night of good TV…’

Most of our oracles think "Succession" will win the Emmy for best drama.

said Roman Roy, referring to ATN, the fictional news network at the heart of the show “Succession.”

But our oracles would overwhelmingly agree that, in real life, each night spent bingeing the HBO hit series was a night of good TV. In fact, almost all of our contributors feel confident that “Succession” will win the Emmy for best drama. The outliers, Jackson and Obeidallah, think best drama will go to HBO’s “White Lotus” and Netflix’s “The Crown” respectively. (CNN and HBO are both owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.)

Many TV shows peak in their first season. “Succession,” however, seemed to get better with age, leaving fans lamenting its conclusion. “Ending ‘Succession’ at a moment when every episode is better than the last feels like a bold move,” noted writer Ani Bundel ahead of the May finale. With the show’s strong finish, “the world of TV is once again being reminded that one of the hallmarks of a truly great series is to know when to call it quits.”

“Ted Lasso” is the contributors’ favorite for best comedy. Yang, however, thinks this will be the year “The Bear” will get the Emmy. He stood by “The Bear” last year, too, though he questioned the category it was nominated in. “Is it a comedy or a drama?”

Will ‘Oppenheimer’ be ‘Kenough’?

"Oppenheimer" and "Barbie" stole the cinematic spotlight in 2023.

In the land of movies, most eyes are on the opening day duo that had the whole country talking. About half of our prognosticators think “Oppenheimer” will be awarded best picture, but many gave a nod to “Barbie.” As Seymour put it, the Academy Award will go to “‘Oppenheimer,’ if it’s business as usual. (‘Barbie,’ if it isn’t.)”

The pair of films have provided fodder for more than just Oscar speculation; when they premiered, they inspired think pieces galore. Sara Stewart shared, “The beauty of Barbie is that she can be anything … Which is exactly why she still resonates with kids and why generations of adults are watching trailers for Gerwig’s movie with unadulterated delight.” (“Barbie” was distributed by Warner Bros., which is owned by CNN’s parent company.)

The only other film our contributors think has a shot at an Oscar is “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The two science minds of the bunch, Lincoln and Sepkowitz, are among those who predict the Martin Scorsese masterpiece will win the prize.

It’s Taylor Swift’s world and we’re just living in it

Taylor Swift performs onstage during " Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Estadio Más Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on November 9, 2023 in Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal.

No celebrity captured our collective attention this year like Taylor Swift. The pop star sold out stadiums on the US portion of The Eras Tour; released two albums including Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), which topped the Billboard 200 and made Swift the woman with the most No. 1 albums; set the record for highest grossing concert film domestically in an opening weekend; and was named TIME Magazine’s person of the year. Oh, and she became a billionaire.

But Swift’s influence extended beyond the music industry. The estimated economic impact of The Eras Tour was a staggering $5 billion, according to the research company QuestionPro. As Yang pointed out, “No one does capitalism like Taylor Swift.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that a majority of our prognosticators are betting that her album “Midnights” will win the Grammy for album of the year. “This is her moment, let’s round it out for her,” said Filipovic. According to Obeidallah, “Even if she doesn’t win the Grammy, she has already won 2023 and 2024!”

Ranney, however, fought the urge to bank on Swift for the Grammy, saying, “I adore T Swift, but SZA’s album ‘SOS’ deserves this win.”

‘It’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames’

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Swift’s year was notable for one more reason: She began dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. In contrast to her famously-secretive relationship with her ex, Joe Alwyn, Swift and Kelce did not shy away from the spotlight. Nonetheless, journalist Frankie de la Cretaz pointed out that “The deluge of podcasts, social media posts and in-game references to a potential relationship between the singer and the tight end — before there was any encouragement or confirmation on her end — seems to completely disrespect her wishes and boundaries.”

Filipovic, however, saw something refreshing in the couple’s dynamic. “In a moment of what feels like peak male insecurity, the Taylor-Travis relationship is a useful model: two ambitious adults, both excellent at what they do, but the female half of the couple is both more successful and a higher earner, by a huge margin — and the male half seems totally fine with that.”

Jackson and Obeidallah are the most optimistic about the future of Swelce. (Or is it Traylor? Or Tayvis?) They think that by the end of 2024, the couple will be married. Ranney and Alice Stewart are also predicting the couple will still be going strong, but they’re hedging their bets. They believe a swift engagement is in store. Among the remaining contributors, the consensus is that Swift and Kelce won’t last. As Ghitis put it: “Will we get as tired of her as she will of him? No. People will still be obsessed with Taylor, and Travis will become fodder for another breakup song.”

No matter what our fearless prognosticators think will be the status of Swift and Kelce, one thing seems certain: as Jane Carr laid out in our year in culture newsletter earlier this month, our love of music, sports and the relationships between our favorite stars was a defining aspect of 2023. The same things will surely bring us together in the year ahead.