Three local journalists recap the big stories of 2015 and will make predictions about what might make news in 2016. Journalists Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic, Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services and Steve Goldstein of KJZZ Radio will give us their insights.
Ted Simons: Coming up next on this special edition of "Arizona Horizon" "The Journalists' Round Table," we look back on the past year and predict what's to come in 2016. It's our annual "The Journalists' Round Table" year-end show, next on "Arizona Horizon."
Announcer: "Arizona Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Arizona PBS. Members of your PBS station. Thank you.
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to this special edition of "Horizon's" "The Journalists' Round Table." I'm Ted Simons. This is the annual year-end round table prediction show. Joining us are Laurie Roberts, of "The Arizona Republic," Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, and Steve Goldstein, of KJZZ Radio. Before our panel predicts what will happen in 2016, let's review the 2015 prognostications, producer Steve Clawson has the recap.
Steve Clawson: Head nothing 2015, politics took center stage, starting with the Phoenix mayoral election.
Ted Simons: Well, Greg Stanton be reelected mayor?
Steve Goldstein: I will say yes.
Howard Fischer: I think the people are generally happy with the way the city is being run, and I don't see a lot of really credible challengers out there.
Announcer: Mayor Stanton was reelected with 65% of the vote. Next, attention turned to the 2016 presidential election.
Ted Simons: Hillary Clinton announced she's running for president.
Steve Goldstein: Yes. And she will announce it on "Arizona Horizon." No, she wouldn't.
Howard Fischer: Of course. At this point you've got to be raising the money, you have to get in there, and I don't see anybody scaring her off. I can't imagine a more certainty, a greater certainty than Hillary running for president.
Steve Clawson: Hillary Clinton formally announced she was running for president on April 12th. While that wasn't a surprise, the question was, would any major challenger emerge?
Steve Goldstein: Joe biden has to run.
Ted Simons: On the Republican side, the focus was on whether former Florida governor Jeb bush would enter the presidential race.
Howard Fischer: I don't see how he can back off now. Everybody is trying to psych each other out. He wants to be out there early.
Steve Goldstein: I agree with Doug. I think the only sort of nonextremely conservative person we're going to see run on the Republican side is Christie. Christie or bush, and I think Christie will muscle bush out.
Steve Clawson: Jeb bush formally announced he was running for president June 15th. Bigger question was, how many Republican candidates would eventually join the race?
Howard Fischer: By Iowa I think we'll see or New Hampshire, about six serious candidates in there.
Steve Goldstein: I'm going to say more than six. Because I think you're going to have those candidates, a former Congressman, you're going to have the equivalent to a Michele Bachmann, I'll say seven.
Steve Clawson: At one point, 17 Republicans announced they were running for the White House. Here in Arizona, attention was starting to build for the 2016 senate race and whether John McCain would face a serious challenger.
Steve Goldstein: If we're going to see a serious challenger, someone at least as viable as Hayworth, no.
Howard Fischer: I think there will be folks testing the water, and figuring out is he outlived his useful Nevada?
Steve Clawson: State senator Kelly ward is challenging senator McCain in the Republican primary. And Ann Kirkpatrick plans to run against him in the general election. On the state level, Arizona began 2015 with a new crop of elected officials, including governor Doug Ducey.
Ted Simons: Will governor Ducey veto any bills?
Howard Fischer: I'm not only going to say yes, but I'm going to say that the number is going to be six.
Steve Goldstein: I think there has to be a couple. He can't completely look like a rubber stamp because too many people anticipate he's going to be that way.
Steve Clawson: Governor Ducey vetoed 20 bills in his first year. One of the big issues the state legislature faced was how to address the $317 million school shortfall.
Doug MacEachern: There will be -- I'm guessing that it will be in the range of maybe $35 million.
Howard Fischer: If Ducey has any smarts about him, he'll settle -- he'll make a deal and say I'll give you the reset of the base, just make the billion dollars go away.
Steve Goldstein: I like that answer. I don't think it's going to happen, but that's a terrific prediction. I'll go with Howeie.
Steve Clawson:The Arizona legislature approved a package of bills that will go to voters in a may special election. As for the legislature, when did our panel predict the session would wrap up in 2015?
Steve Goldstein: I'm going to say April 27th.
Howard Fischer: I think it's going to be closer to may 15th.
Doug MacEachern: I'm going to say the first week of may.
Steve Clawson: The Arizona legislature adjourned April 3rd. Next, our panel was asked about the relationship between President Obama and the Republican controlled Congress.
Ted Simons: How many vetoes, Doug, will President Obama issue?
Doug MacEachern: I'll say total vetoes, maybe 30.
Howard Fischer: I think there will be five or six. I don't think we'll get anywhere near 30.
Steve Goldstein: Around 15. I think what dog is saying, there will be major things, maybe three major and 15 total.
Steve Clawson: President Obama issued three vetoes in 2015. Giving him five total for his nearly seven years in office. One of President Obama's signature accomplishments, though, faced an uncertain future heading into 2015.
Ted Simons: What will the U.S. Supreme Court decide regarding Obamacare?
Doug MacEachern:I think that the court is going to rule against it.
Howard Fischer: I think the court is going to say, look, the intent of the legislation was clearly that everybody gets a subsidy, so I think the court leaves that one alone.
Steve Goldstein: As far as the exchange is concerned, I agree with Howie. Ultimately in 2015 I don't see it being overturned.
Steve Clawson: in a 6-3 decision the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act authorized federal tax credits for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges, but also in the 34 states with federal marketplaces. Speaking of the Supreme Court, would it finish the year with the same nine justices that started the year?
Ted Simons: Supreme Court vacancy, are we going to see one in 2015? YAY or nay?
Steve Goldstein: I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg is stronger than people say. I'm going to say no.
Howard Fischer: I think perhaps some of the folks there want Obama to make the replacement.
Doug MacEachern: He's right. I think Ruth is pumping iron in the gym right now.
Steve Clawson: Finally, our panel is always asked for a long shot and sure thing prediction.
Steve Goldstein: We're going to see a lot more of bill Montgomery around capitol because of his relationship with Doug Ducey. That's my sure thing.
Steve Goldstein: My long shots, I have two. One is increasing the rivalry between ASU and Grand Canyon. ASU will fire head coach basketball coach herb Sendak and Dan Marley will be the other coach. As far as developments in December, next U.S. ambassador to Cuba is Jeff flake.
Howard Fischer: We're not getting out of here in 65 days, my semi sure shot is that the recall against Diane Douglas will fail,
Doug MacEachern: Sure thing, I really do believe Elizabeth Warren will form an exploratory committee. I think the stock market you'll see the stock market blow where it is at the end of this year, below where it is.
Steve Clawson: And now it's time to reveal this year's winner. Both Doug MacEachern and Steve Goldstein finished with eight, Howard Fischer won the 2015 competition with nine points.
Ted Simons: Congratulations on your one-point win. Would you like to say something? That's good enough. Okay. We also want to welcome Laurie Roberts to the panel, she takes over for Doug MacEachern, who retired from the republic earlier this year. Welcome.
Laurie Roberts: Thank you. Big boots to fill.
Stan BarnesGood luck to you.
Laurie Roberts: Thank you.
Ted Simons: And we'll start with you. Let's get it going here. We're going to start with the presidential politics, the Republican presidential nominee. Who is it going to be?
Laurie Roberts: Well, I think early on it's going to look like Ted Cruz, but I think ultimately it will be Marco Rubio, people will want someone who is generally electable in a general election.
Ted Simons: Republican nominee?
Howard Fischer: I like the idea of starting with Cruz but I think Cruz is eventually going to not only win the Arizona primary, but also is going to be the party's pick.
Ted Simons: What do you think, Steve?
Steve Goldstein: Based on money, which talks, Jeb bush will outlast the rest.
Ted Simons: Jeb bush is going to come from behind, huh?
Steve Goldstein: That's what I see. My murky crystal ball.
Ted Simons:The Democratic presidential nominee?
Steve Goldstein: Secretary Clinton.
Ted Simons: What do you think?
Howard Fischer: Yeah. Money, power, name I.D., unless she gets indicted for something she did as secretary of state, I'd say she's the nominee.
Ted Simons: Anybody going to feel the BERN?
Laurie Roberts: It's going to be Hillary.
Ted Simons: With that, we'll start with you on this one, who wins the presidency?
Howard Fischer: I'm going to have to give the edge to whoever the Republican is. I think Hillary is damaged goods, I think a lot of democrats are not going to turn out for her. I think she's -- they're swallowing hard just to pick her. But again, if we get trump as a nominee, then Hillary is the next president.
Steve Goldstein: I say Jeb bush is going to win narrowly in part because he's going to win Florida.
Ted Simons: Jeb bush not only winning the primary, but he'll be the next president.
Steve Goldstein: That's what I'm saying.
Ted Simons: That's bold. What do you think?
Laurie Roberts: I think it will probably be the Republican nominee, the issue right now, and I think it will be the issue in 2016, is terrorism do, we feel safe, and I think given, that people will tend toward the Republican. All bets are off if trump gets in as a third party nominee and I officially renounce my prediction.
Ted Simons: The phrase all bets are off, we don't use that on "The Journalists' Round Table" here. I know you're new here.
Laurie Roberts: All right.
Ted Simons: Electoral votes. What's the winner going to get?
Laurie Roberts: It's going to be close. I'm going to say 287.
Howard Fischer: I don't -- given the states that make a difference, I think it will be closer to 295.
Ted Simons: Interesting. What do you think?
Steve Goldstein: I think based on Florida, Ohio, 276.
Ted Simons: Okay. Closer to home, U.S. senate race. Arizona U.S. senate race. Who wins?
Steve Goldstein: I think senator McCain gets another one.
Ted Simons: Okay. Do you agree with that?
Laurie Roberts: John McCain, he's got all the money, the name I.D., and foreign policy is a big issue.
Howard Fischer: I think, how do you bet against the guy? He's got an interesting primary race, he's clearly not going to lose to Kelly ward. But -- and Ann Kirkpatrick can be a strong candidate, but when you've got this much in the bank in December, and the guy now chair as committee, which means he can stand with his hands out.
Ted Simons: Let's go to the congressional delegation. The party breakdown, what do you see?
Howard Fischer: I think it's going to be 5-4 Republican.
Ted Simons: Steve?
Steve Goldstein I think we're going to stay the same. Whoever Kirkpatrick's seat will go to the democrat.
Laurie Roberts: I think it will go 6-3. I think whoever gets that nomination is -- will be a Republican district.
Ted Simons: You're seeing Republican surge here come next year, November.
Laurie Roberts: I do. I do. I think a lot of what's happening right now in the way people are feeling is making people very nervous with the status quo. I don't think a lot of people feel like the Obama administration has been hard enough, or done enough to secure us in our shopping mall and other places of business. I think fear will win, and I think because Donald Trump has set that as the issue, that will be the thing.
Ted Simons: Let's go back with Donald Trump. Let's go back to the presidential race real quick. Will Donald Trump win a state primary?
Steve Goldstein: I think he will win South Carolina.
Howard Fischer: I think he'll win several state primaries. Again, some of it becomes people are scared, and he's telling them what they think they want to hear. I know that sounds funny, but that's it. And the facts don't seem to matter.
Ted Simons: You think he's going to win --
Laurie Roberts: no, I don't think he'll win South Carolina because I think the religious point of view will come in there and Ted Cruz will win that. I think it's one thing to say to a pollster that you're going toe electricity this guy to put his hand on the nuclear bomb, it's another thing to cast that ballot. I do not think they will win a primary, but he'll come close.
Ted Simons: All right. Congressional district one in Arizona, Republican, Democratic -- what have we got here?
Steve Goldstein: First I'm bumpy on this one, after looking at the candidates, I have to put that selfie out of the mind and say Babeu, and --
Ted Simons: you think O'Halloran wins?
Steve Goldstein: Because of Babeu's background.
Ted Simons: What have you got?
Howard Fischer: I think it's a good prediction.
Ted Simons: Babeu gets O'Halloran --
Howard Fischer: O'Halloran winning based on the fact that Babeu, again, will the Republicans support him, is he their guy?
Ted Simons: What do you think?
Laurie Roberts: I think O'Halloran will be the Democratic nominee, I think Gary Kiehne will win. He has money, he came in a close second last time around to Andy Tobin and he actually has lived in the district for a while. Isn't that a novel idea? You actually come from CD one.
Ted Simons: He said some things that weren't necessarily proper, but you think he's passed all that?
Laurie Roberts: I think he has money.
Ted Simons: Okay. To reiterate that. Howie L. democrats take over the U.S. house?
Howard Fischer: I don't see any way they can do that. I think this is a Republican year. Lawyer I hit it on the head. -- Laurie hit it on the head. Terrorism is the issue and democrats are seen as soft on terrorism, soft on crime and everything else. I don't see any way that's going to happen.
Laurie Roberts: No. No way.
Ted Simons: What do you think, democrats have a shot?
Steve Goldstein: Way too many seats.
Ted Simons: What about the senate? Will the Republicans keep the senate?
Steve Goldstein: Republicans will keep the senate, yes.
Howard Fischer: Same thing. Again, given that kind of year.
Laurie Roberts: Republicans will keep the senate.
Ted Simons: All right. Interesting. We have a little bit of a theme going here. We'll see how it works out on next year's show. Initiatives on the 2016 ballot in Arizona. How many?
Howard Fischer: I think I'm guessing that we will end up with marijuana, I'm not sure in terms of anything else. Paul Johnson is talking about an initiative along watery Goddard, two separate measures, I think we'll end up with those three.
Ted Simons: We're not talking about referrals from the legislature. Initiatives on the ballot.
Steve Goldstein: I think there's going to be a fourth. And I was looking at the list, I'm going to go with four, just to be contrary to Howie.
Ted Simons: Three and four.
Laurie Roberts: I'm going to go with five. I think there will be the minimum wage thing put on the ballot by the unions, I think you'll have the dark money initiative, you'll have a top two primary initiative, and there will be some wild card thing out there to -- we may not even know about.
Ted Simons: Do you think marijuana will make the ballot?
Laurie Roberts: Yes, I think it will make the ballot.
Ted Simons: Will it pass?
Laurie Roberts: No. I do not believe it will. It will be close. It was close on medical marijuana, and I just -- I think it's not going to pass.
Ted Simons: What do you think, Steve?
Steve GoldsteinI'm with Laurie. It's going to be very close, but you're going to get enough people who think medical marijuana is a real thing, and they're going to say, this is a little too much of an effort to legalize, so everyone eventually can have it and I don't think we're comfortable with that yet.
Howard Fischer: I think they're both right because of the fact when the medical marijuana measure passed, the prosecutors were quiet and silent, didn't spend any money. This time I think they'll spend a lot of money and they're going to point at all the tiny things in there about workplace environment and everything else. They'll make enough people question whether, do we want to go this way.
Ted Simons: Interesting. We have a special election in may on education funding, settling the lawsuit, extra funding, these things, what are voters going to do?
Howard Fischer: They're going to pass it, and I think it's going to be close to a 2-1 margin. At this point even Jeff DeWitt is going to go ahead and wage an anticampaign. I don't see an organized campaign on this thing. Obviously there will be folks raising questions about how the money will be used. When you have -- you're going to have ads with teachers standing there with children saying, this is for us. How do you vote against that?
Steve Goldstein: Governor Ducey has played this masterfully, and we've proven in the past with a special election when Governor Brewer was in front of the temporary tax increase, voters want education and they like having governors in front of these things backing them.
Laurie Roberts: I think it will pass for two reasons. One, something is better than nothing, and nothing is what the schools are otherwise going to get in terms of inflation funding, and also, taxpayers won't have to pay for it. I think Arizona voters are renowned for passing things when there's not a tax associated with it or some way they have to pay for it. Look at first things first. We got that because it was a tobacco tax. I don't have to pay for it, so I'm a yes.
Ted Simons: With that -- everyone agrees it's going to pass. We'll start with you, Laurie, give me a percentage, the winning percentage.
Laurie Roberts: 72%.
Ted Simons: Holy smokes! All right. Howie?
Howard Fischer: I'll go with 66.666%.
Ted Simons: Okay. That's good for you. Okay.
Steve Goldstein: Slightly low, 64%.
Ted Simons: We got to break it up.
Laurie Roberts: Who's going to be against it?
Howard Fischer: There are people who will vote no on everything. I remember a guy who was dead when he ran against Bruce Babbitt, he got 17% for being dead.
Ted Simons: Interesting way to go about it. I like that idea. All right. Legislature. Adjourned sine die, Howie?
Howard Fischer: I think it will be a little later this year, a lot of it -- May 17th election coming up, do they want to wait until that happens, just to see what occurs there? So I'm guessing somewhere around 26th of May.
Ted Simons: Even though a lot of folks say not much is going to happen? I keep hearing the session, they're going to be waiting for this and not much is going to happen because of that.
Howard Fischer: I think that's just the nature of it. Last year they went through stuff artificially fast and then they went, wait, how do we go from a billion dollar deficit, 800 million in the bank, because nobody told us the numbers. I don't think they want to do that again.
Steve Goldstein: I'm going to go May 4th F they need to come back for a special session for some reason, they will after the 17th.
Laurie Roberts: I'm going to say January 20th. Oh, wait. You didn't want a suggestion, you wanted a prediction.
Ted Simons: No.
Laurie Roberts: I'm going to say April 22nd. Because I think that they're going to want to get the heck out of town and get to running for office again. Because that's their number one concern, always. Always, always.
Ted Simons: Steve, as far as the Republican and Democratic breakdown, start with the house.
Steve Goldstein: I don't see much change. I see 36/24 in the house, 18/12 in the senate.
Ted Simons: Howie?
Howard Fischer: You've got this funny switch that occurred this year, I think that it will go back to what it was, because I think the Gay is not electable as a Republican, it will go back to what it was before, so it will be the status quo.
Ted Simons: Status quo, okay.
Laurie Roberts: For the same reason Howie gave, I think it will be 17-13 in the senate and 34-26 in the house.
Ted Simons: Not much going to change at all?
Laurie Roberts: Some of the faceless change, but most of our districts are set. This is what we call gerrymandered districts.
Ted Simons: What happened to the redistricting commission? Wasn't it supposed to change all this?
Laurie Roberts: It was F. they just listened to me.
Ted Simons: All right. Steve, we'll start with you, sheriff Joe Arpaio. Sheriff joe to you. Does he win reelection?
Steve Goldstein: There's someone on this panel who earlier this month wrote a column about a potential opponent of sheriff Joe Arpaio. I still think, I still think he's going to pit out. I don't think judge snow's decision is going to affect enough voters and I don't think he's going to be in jail.
Howard Fischer: How do you bet against a guy who says the things he says, he's the Donald Trump of Maricopa County, and still manages to get the support. I mean, I'm assuming he's sheriff for another four years until they take him out in a box.
Ted Simons: Is he going to survive the next round?
Laurie Roberts: It depends on who if anyone runs. If one good candidate runs against him and not in a Republican primary, that being if somebody like U.S. marshal David Gonzalez decides to run as an independent, I think he will win. But only if nobody else gets into the race.
Ted Simons: Is it Gonzalez or Arpaio? Is that what you're saying?
Laurie Roberts: If it Gonzalez versus Arpaio race in the general election, I think David Gonzalez will win.
Ted Simons: But everyone else will lose. Anyone else who gets into the race would lose to Arpaio.
Laurie Roberts: Anybody else I've heard of the name will. If it's Phil Gordon, yeah, Phil Gordon will probably lose, possibly in part because he has no law enforcement experience to run a law enforcement agency.
Ted Simons: SABiN?
Laurie Roberts: No.
Ted Simons: Will the Arizona Diamondbacks make the playoffs?
Steve Goldstein: Your hometown club has spent a lot of money. I will say yes.
Ted Simons: Laurie?
Laurie Roberts: Well, they stole somebody away from the Dodgers and the dodgers are supposed to be pretty good, aren't they? Because I'm a fan, I say darn yes.
Ted Simons: All right. Howie?
Howard Fischer: I'm going to say AW, you can spend a lot of money, you cannot buy your way into the playoffs.
Ted Simons: two all-stars in the starting rotation, you're still saying no dice.
Howard Fischer: No dice.
Ted Simons: Lt. suns make the playoffs?
Howard Fischer: That's a harder one. I think, you know, with the system actually they've got, almost a lot of teams do make the playoffs. I think they get to the first round.
Ted Simons: All right. Steve?
Steve Goldstein: As as a Phoenix boy, I take this very seriously, the answer again, I will be crying, no.
Ted Simons: No playoffs for the suns?
Laurie Roberts: They won't make the playoffs. Nobody pays attention to the suns anymore, do they?
Ted Simons: Yes, they do, Laurie. [laughter] All right. Time for our long shot sure thing prediction. Laurie, we'll have you go last because this is your first year and I want you to see how it works. Steve, we'll start with you since you have the boldest of the predictions.
Steve Goldstein: such pressure.
Ted Simons: Long shot, sure thing.
Steve Goldstein: Sure thing, we're going to see at least one if not more but definitely one former member of the corporation commission announce in early January that he and/or she will be running for the corporation commission again after many years off the panel.
Ted Simons: That's a sure thing? Okay.
Steve Goldstein: Long shot, after much hemming and HAWing, we'll see a couple things. We're going to see Doug Ducey as a finalist of the president of the United States. And as a quick addendum, Diamondbacks will make the playoffs because they will fire manager chip Hale, Tony LaRue 0 will come from above and be the manager.
Ted Simons: That is bold. I love that one. I don't know if I like the idea, but I love the thought behind it. Howie?
Howard Fischer: First, bill has already said he's running. Bill Mundell has already said he's running, that's nice. I think in terms of a sure shot, I think the Supreme Court is going to look at the redistricting case we heard earlier this year, and they're going to decide if they open the door to this challenge, it's Katie Barr at the door so I think they'll let the district stand. In terms after couple long shots, I think Kelly ward gets perhaps 35% of the vote in the Republican primary, and I'm going to do a repeat of what somebody did last year, I think Jeff flake as ambassador of Cuba is a wonderful idea.
Ted Simons: You're going with that again?
Howard Fischer: That was his.
Howard Fischer: I'm going to kiss the ring.
Ted Simons: All right. Laurie?
Laurie Roberts: All right. Short-term I think while our schools will remain underfunded and the legislature will do nothing to remedy that situation, they will do at least one more tax cut this coming year, because that's -- that's a sure thing. And for my long-term, I'm going to say no member of the corporation commission who is on the 2016 ballot will be reelected.
Ted Simons: Oh, that's a bold one too.
Laurie Roberts: Yep. People are going to pay attention this year.
Ted Simons: I was going --
Laurie Roberts: I'll add another one, Doug Ducey will come to understand the concern that Arizonans have about dark money in this state, watching what APS is widely believed to have done in buying those seats, and he will come to the conclusion that we need to reform dark money.
Howard Fischer: I'm not -- I think --
Laurie Roberts: it's a long shot, Howie.
Howard Fischer: You do know what elected this guy.
Laurie Roberts: That's why it's called a long shot. And it's also wishful thinking.
Ted Simons: With that, with that, we thank you all, and we will see what we will see. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening. Captioning Performed By LNS Captioning www.LNScaptioning.com
Annoucer: "Arizona Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Arizona PBS. Members of your PBS station. Thank you.
In this segment:
Laurie Roberts:Journalist,Howard Fischer:Journalist,Steve Goldstein:Journalist
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