The November 2022 governor's race will pit Gov. Janet Mills against former Gov. Paul LePage. Credit: File / BDN

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The predictions game is a difficult one, but a lot of fun. The last couple of years, though, have showed us just how difficult — futile, even? — it can be to try to anticipate what is going to happen in the next year. In the next month or week, even. 

Difficult as it may be, though, I continue to press on undeterred as I look into my crystal ball and bring to you what I think are my lock solid guarantees for 2022.

Bold Prediction 1: Republicans will retake the U.S. House of Representatives rather comfortably

Even the Democrats seem to believe this is going to happen, and their mission now appears to be to limit the losses as much as possible. That likely won’t be terribly effective, though, as I believe a major swing will occur in this midterm, and Republicans will flip 30 or more seats in 2022.

Bold Prediction 2: The U.S. Senate, on the other hand, will remain split 50/50

Look, it is going to be a Republican wave election in November, and they may pick up seats in places like Georgia and Nevada, but I have my doubts they pick off Arizona or Colorado, and they may lose in places like Pennsylvania. At the end of the day, I think it is a wash. If the GOP does take back the Senate, it will only be by one or two seats.

Bold Prediction 3: The Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade (sort of)

In this case, I think the court ultimately charts a new path and overturns most of the holdings in the Roe and Casey decisions. However, I expect it to be far more complicated than the clean rejection of Roe that many people expect. I wouldn’t be shocked by a mixed 3-3-3 decision that partially overturns Roe with important caveats. 

Bold Prediction 4: There will be a major international incident involving either Russia or China

Whether it is Russia’s planned incursion into Ukraine, or China finally moving on Taiwan — or something else we aren’t even thinking about today — I think one of these two nations (or both) will make a major move in 2022, and force the Biden administration to make difficult choices about how to respond. 

Bold Prediction 5: COVID restrictions will ease more by the summer of 2022

I obviously can’t predict how COVID will progress, but I do know that the politics of the 2022 midterms will drive policy makers like Gov. Janet Mills to continue to ease the rules the closer we get to Election Day, to make people feel like things are getting back to normal. 

Bold Prediction 6: Paul LePage will defeat Janet Mills, in a razor close election

This is going to be a metaphorical bloodbath. Tens of millions of dollars will be spent, and it will be the most fiercely contested race in Maine history. It is going to be very, very close, and I frankly wouldn’t be shocked if either candidate won. But I think the political environment will be the extra boost LePage needs to barely squeak out a win.

Bold Prediction 7: The Republicans will retake one of Maine’s two legislative chambers (but I’m not sure which one)

My bet would probably be they flip the needed seats in the state Senate, but don’t sell short the idea of them taking back the House. I don’t think they both happen — though they certainly could — but I do think one of the two ends up in GOP hands.

Bold Prediction 8: It becomes fun to go to the movies again

I’ve already gone to theaters twice this year (“James Bond” and “Dune”). Tons of delayed blockbusters are coming out in the next 12 months, and people will rush back to experience some fun at the movies again. Let’s all go to the lobby!

Bold Prediction 9: No, there will not be a Patriots versus Buccaneers Super Bowl

Man, I would love to see it, and it would probably be the most watched Super Bowl of all time. But the chances of it happening are very low. A guy can dream, though, right?

Bold Prediction 10: The end of 2022 will effectively mark the end of COVID alarmism

This is related to bold prediction 5, but the message from 2022’s elections will ultimately be “it is time to return to normal.” The virus will never go away, but the end of 2022 will mark America coming to the conclusion that it is time to stop and be human again.

Matthew Gagnon of Yarmouth is the chief executive officer of the Maine Policy Institute, a free market policy think tank based in Portland. A Hampden native, he previously served as a senior strategist...