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Taking a look back at 2016 — the year yet to come

Taking a look back at 2016 — the year yet to come

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Time to forget last year's forecast that Rand Paul would lead the Republican field and look ahead at what's to come in 2016.

January: In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama urges tighter requirements for assault weapons. In the Republican response, Speaker Paul Ryan ignores guns and instead says Congress will concentrate on timely appropriations bills. In the final Republican debate, Donald Trump accuses Sen. Ted Cruz of weakness in fighting the Islamic State.

February: Cruz captures the Iowa caucuses, followed by Trump and Marco Rubio. Hillary Clinton tops Democrats. In New Hampshire, Trump edges Chris Christie, followed by John Kasich, Cruz, Rubio and then Jeb Bush. Bernie Sanders edges Hillary Clinton. Trump and Clinton win South Carolina, while Rubio and Clinton take Nevada.

March: On Super Tuesday, Trump, Cruz and Rubio divide delegates. Among Democrats, Clinton wins everywhere but Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado and Minnesota. Trump outlasts Cruz and Rubio in Florida to take the delegate lead. Bush (who comes in fourth) and Christie (fifth) suspend their candidacies. Mitt Romney warns against a Trump nomination. Kasich upsets leaders, sweeping Ohio delegates. Clinton takes Michigan, Illinois and Ohio primaries.

April: President Vladimir Putin suspends Russia's air attacks in Syria after heavy plane losses. Sanders suspends campaign after a 2-1 Wisconsirout. Trump wins New York and Pennsylvania. Romney, Jeb Bush and former GOP Chairman Haley Barbour meet to mull "the political situation."

May: Trump calls Romney, Bush and Barbour sore losers. Cruz and Rubio keep attacking each other but not Trump. Trump sweeps May primaries and nears majority. Syrian President Bashar Assad resigns after Russia joins the U.S. in urging "new leadership." Embattled GOP Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Mark Kirk of Illinois say they won't endorse Trump, if nominated. Clinton clinches Democratic nomination.

June: The primaries end with Trump 50 delegates short of a majority. Cruz, Rubio and Ohio's "favorite son" Kasich vow to fight on. Clinton taps Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as a running mate. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia announces his retirement, but says he'll stay one year so Obama can't nominate successor.

July: The House passes 12 appropriations bills; the Senate, two. Ryan, who is named chairman of GOP national convention, joins Barbour, Bush, Romney, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich to discuss an anti-Trump coalition. The effort collapses when Cruz backs Trump in return for vice presidential nomination.

August: The anti-Trump coalition picks Romney and Bush to form rival ticket. The Libertarian Party provides ballot access in most states. Six GOP senators running for re-election buck Trump, back Romney-Bush instead. China beats U.S. in gold medals at Rio Olympics; Trump blames political correctness.

September: Polls show Clinton leading with 40 percent, Romney and Trump each with 30. U.S. and Russia agree the best leader for Syria is Maher Assad, the former president's brother. House Benghazi Committee, calling timing coincidental, issues report blasting Clinton's terrorism responses and emails. In the first debate, Trump attacks Romney, Romney attacks Trump, Clinton ignores both. Polls show Trump the winner, but Clinton stays ahead.

October: Ryan announces neutrality in presidential race. In final debate, Clinton, 68, calls Romney, 69, and Trump, 70, "voices of the past," saying she represents America's future.

November: Cubs capture their first World Series since 1908! Clinton wins presidency, beating Bill's numbers with 45 percent to Trump's 36 and Romney's 19. She carries Ohio, Florida and heavily Hispanic Western states, gaining 403 electoral votes. Trump has 129. Romney carries Utah. Trump claims disrespect. Democrats defeat all six Senate Republicans backing Romney, gaining 52-48 majority. GOP loses 26 House seats, retaining slim 221-214 majority.

December: In unity bid, President-elect Clinton offers Trump a job as trade representative and for Romney, the ambassadorship to Russia. Both refuse. Outgoing VP Joe Biden is named secretary of state. U.S. and Russia push for a Syria unity conference. Clinton picks outgoing Obama for Scalia's Supreme Court seat. Ryan resumes Ways and Means Committee chair, and the House GOP deadlocks on a new speaker.

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