- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

One Year Into Trump Term: Bets Won and Lost

| Spring 2018

What happened in the world during the first year of the Trump presidency? Yogi Berra warned against making bets—especially about the future. Nevertheless, because the real world offers no opportunity to opt out, the Belfer Center – in collaboration with POLITICO Magazine - invited readers in January 2017 to summon their courage and register their bets for 2017.  The deadline for placing “bets” was February 7, 2017.

More than 1100 people took part in the contest, suggested by the Center’s Graham Allison. We have tallied their choices and charted them on our website at belfercenter.org/bets2017. Along with each question, you can view the correct answers with a breakdown of how the respondents answered, and you can read some of the most noteworthy reasoning we received.

We are pleased to announce our two winners: Ralph Melcher of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Paul Schrager of Sudbury, Massachusetts. Each answered 15 out of 20 questions correctly. Both winners will receive $500 and a signed copy of Graham Allison’s book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

Congratulations, Paul and Ralph, and thanks to all who placed bets!


Sample Questions from the Poll:

6. Russia: Assessed from the perspective of American national interests, relations with Russia will be:

[a] Substantially better than they were in the last 2 years of the Obama administration (32% of responses)

[b] Substantially worse (26%)

[c] About the same (43%)


13. Deportations: In year one, the Trump administration will deport ___ undocumented immigrants:

[a] Fewer than 100,000 (37%)

[b] 100,000-500,000 (42%)

[c] 1/2 to 1 million (16%)

[d] More than 1 million (5%)


15. Iran: Obama's signature nuclear agreement with Iran will be:

[a] Overturned by Trump (34%)

[b] Canceled by Iran (18%)

[c] Maintained despite additional U.S. sanctions (48%)

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

“One Year Into Trump Term: Bets Won and Lost.” Belfer Center Newsletter. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School (Spring 2018).