Editor’s note: The following report is our second Forecast Tracker, a biweekly checkup on the health of our annual forecast. The format has been modified to reflect some of the feedback we received on the first installment, the improvements on which would not have been possible were it not for the participation of our readers. Please allow us to offer you a heartfelt thank you and to ask that you continue to share your thoughts on how we can improve this new feature.
Before we begin, I’d like to take a moment to talk about forecasting, which means different things to different people. We do not focus on predicting discrete events, but rather on the broad forces that shape events. Weather forecasters predict when a storm will strike. We predict the conditions that create the storm. We care less about individual events – like, for instance, an election – than we do about the political, economic, cultural and martial forces that define a country’s behavior no matter who wins.