The Annual F&H California Office Pool

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Double digits! This year, the California Office Pool has its 10th version. It was inspired by the late, great New York Times columnist William Safire, who made a habit of writing an annual column he called Office Pool. In it, Safire offered, multiple-choice style, a series of possible news events that could take place in the new year. At the column’s end, he let you know which ones he thought would occur.

Safire’s focus was Washington; ours is California. My picks are at the end.

I hope you did better than I did on last year’s quiz. I was right about the arc of Kamala Harris, about Uber staying private, and Apple staying on top of Alphabet. But I failed to foresee just about everything else: about the size of Democratic Congressional wave (I thought the Democratic gains here would be 4 or fewer), wrong about Pelosi surviving, wrong to predict a Kevin de Leon upset of Feinstein, and wrong about Villaraigosa, not Cox, finishing second in the governor’s race top two. I thought the Dodgers would win the World Series (they nearly did) and that Trump wouldn’t visit California (he did, but didn’t stay long).

Below are the 2019 questions. Be sure to make your predictions, and clip n’ save (or bookmark and save) so we can see how we did at the end of next year.

1. 1) How many trips will President Trump make to California in 2019?
A. 0
B. 1
C. 2 or more

2) In December 2019, the president of the United States will be:
A. Donald Trump
B. Mike Pence
C. Nancy Pelosi
D. Someone else

3. 3) The biggest California political story of 2019 will be:
A. Kamala Harris’ run for president
* B. Another Californian’s run for president
* C. Gavin Newsom’s ambitious but rocky governorship
* D. Trump and the walls closing in upon him
* E. More deadly natural disasters.
* F. Something else

4) Which of the following Californians will be candidates for president in Dec. 2019? Select all who you think will be running.
A. Kamala Harris
B. Eric Garcetti
C. Tom Steyer
D. Eric Swalwell
E. Mark Zuckerberg
F. Joe Sanberg
G. Michael Avenatti
H. Laurene Powell Jobs
I. Sheryl Sandberg
J. LeBron James
O. Oprah

5) The first big Newsom victory as governor will be
A. Huge new investment in early childhood, framed as first step to “ending poverty” in CA
B. legislation establishing a structure for single-payer in CA.
C. Major legislation to make it easier to build housing
D. Tax reform
E. There won’t be any big victories in 2019.
6) True or False: PG&E will file for bankruptcy in 2019.

7) True or False: Uber will become a public company in 2019.

8) True or False: Apple will have the largest market cap of any company in California at the end of 2019.

9) By the end of 2018, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris:
A. Will be in the top 3 in the Iowa polls and considered a major contender.
B. Will still be in the race but trailing better known candidates.
C. Will have dropped out.
D. Will be President Pelosi’s attorney general.

10) The Academy Award for Best Picture will go to:
A. Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther
B. Damien Chazelle’s First Man
C. Spike Lee’s BlackkKlansman
D. Adam McKay’s Vice
E. Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma
F. Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk
G. Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born
G. None of these.
10) The first top California dog to lose their job in 2019 will be:
A. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg
B. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg
C. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey
D. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
E. Lakers coach Luke Walton
F. High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Brian Kelly

11) How many members of the California legislature and California Congressional delegations will lose or resign their jobs in 2019 because of allegations of sexual misconduct?
A. 0
B. 1
C. 2-3
D. 4 or more

12) At the end of 2019, the California High-Speed Rail Authority will….
A. have been killed by Governor Newsom
B. have been rejuvenated by leadership and growing recognition of the state’s transportation and climate needs 
C. be pretty much the same, with construction continuing and behind schedule.

13) At the end of 2019, the Delta tunnels project will…
A. Have been killed.
B. be still stuck in a mess of debate and litigation.
C. be under construction

14) The Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites to repeat as NBA champs. Which California team is likely to join them and win a championship?
A. The L.A. Rams
B. The L.A. Chargers
C. The L.A. Dodgers
D. Los Angeles Football Club
E. The San Jose Sharks
F. The Anaheim Ducks
G. The Oakland A’s

15. True or false: 2019 will bring economic recession to California.

16. How many new lawsuits will the state file against the federal government in 2019?
A. 0
B. 1
C. 2-9
D. 10 or more

My picks. 1. C (Trump will make 2 or more trips here). 2. A. (Trump remains president). 3. D. (Trump will be the big CA story). 4. A and B (Harris and Garcetti will still be running). 5. A (early childhood is Gavin’s first win) 6. False (PG&E will be bailed out, not bankrupted). 7. True (Uber goes public). 8. False (Alphabet will pass Apple). 9 B. (Harris in race but trailing). 10. A. (Sandberg out). 11. C (2-3 #MeToo victims in 2019 among CA legislators). 12. C (high-speed rail status quo). 13. B. (tunnels stuck). 14. A. (Rams win Super Bowl). 15. False (The recession will arrive in 2020). 16. D (many lawsuits)

Comment on this article


Please note, statements and opinions expressed on the Fox&Hounds Blog are solely those of their respective authors and may not represent the views of Fox&Hounds Daily or its employees thereof. Fox&Hounds Daily is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the site's bloggers.