Predictions are notoriously dangerous things to make – but just for the fun of it, here are several ones related to American politics:

1. Newt Gingrich will withdraw from the presidential race before the summer is over, and quite possibly before the summer begins.

2. Anthony Weiner will not be on the ballot – any ballot – in 2012.

3. Jon Huntsman will continue to impress pundits and reporters. But he won’t impress GOP primary voters. And he won’t have a significant impact on the GOP race.

4. Sarah Palin will not run for president. Michelle Bachmann will. She’ll finish second or third in Iowa. And after Ed Rollins leaves her campaign, he’ll have negative things to say about her.

5. No Senate seat currently held by a Republican will be lost in 2012 (Dean Heller and Scott Brown are the most vulnerable, while Olympia Snowe may face a stiff primary challenge). When the smoke clears, Republicans will have won at least 52 seats and control both branches of Congress.

6. Barack Obama’s re-election campaign will jettison the strategy of defending his record for a simple reason: it is indefensible. He has amassed fewer impressive achievements than even Jimmy Carter. As a result, Obama will unleash the most sustained, negative campaign by any incumbent in modern American history. The president knows it will be ugly. He also knows it will be his only hope.