Happy New Year! It’s what we say at the start of a new annual time period. And we mean it, right? You wish the best for family, friends, co-workers and others in exclaiming to have a healthy, safe and Happy New Year!

But let’s be frank. This New Year is a Presidential Election Year and that promises more than feelings of happiness. It’ll bring stress, anger, disappointment, unhappiness and confusion, to name a few. I’m an optimistic person believing good will triumph, but 2020 has the potential for cynicism.

The new decade begins with our president already impeached and facing a Senate trial this month. He’ll be acquitted of the “great hoax” and not removed from office in a 46-54 vote that, I believe, has no dogs barking Sherlock Holmes-style.

Here’s how this election year might unfold: the presidential primaries finally begin in early February with Pete Buttigieg winning the Iowa caucuses, I forecast, and a few weeks late Joe Biden taking South Carolina. The stump continues and sees wins by Elizabeth Warren in New Hampshire and Bernie Sanders in Nevada. A short while later, Biden takes Super Tuesday in the South and Sanders grabs California.

With a four-way party fight now underway for the 1,919 pledges needed for the Democratic nomination -- and with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s candidacy finding life as a potential running mate or Green Party competitor -- the new year feels edgy, a bit doomed and even unhappy.

Anxiety is tight when Democratic indecisiveness necessitates a brokered vote at July’s convention in Milwaukee (Sanders looks strong early), and there are awful memories of the fragmentary 1968 convention in Chicago that ultimately saw Republican Richard M. Nixon triumph.

Happiness is absent and uneasiness agitating during nomination votes that eventually see Biden win the Democratic nomination. He quickly chooses, I imagine, either Buttigieg or Gabbard as his running mate.

After Trump takes the GOP nomination at his party’s August convention in Charlotte, the two rivals battle (in various ways except a legitimate debate) until Election Day in November.

And the winner is?

The presidential election will be close and the losing candidate will call for a recount, I predict, because hacking is suspected. Again. We certainly don’t want another 2016.

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