Punditology 2008: Which political nerd reigned supreme?

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Well, we're still awaiting election results in the Senate races in Minnesota and Alaska, but since those two races might take a month or two to decide, we'll go ahead and declare the winners in the 2008 Punditology Challenge now (without those two races in the mix.)

First, some notes about our collective wisdom. As usual, the 310 punditologists were almost entirely correct - except when we were all wrong.

All in all, our conventional wisdom picked 91 out of 101 races correctly. Pretty damn good.

OK, now for the top Punditologists:

We had a three-way tie for first place, each with 92 correct picks:

Mike Linman came the closest on the tiebreaker - missing Obama's vote total in Oregon by less than 20,000 votes.

We had a five-way tie for runner-up, each with 91 correct picks: Sal Peralta, Derek Bradley, Taylor Murdoch, Brian Newman (who was top dog in the 2006 primary), and Rep. Dave Hunt.

On the jump, a list of everyone who finished in the top 10% of the Punditology Challenge. Congratulations!

#1Mike Linman92 pts
#1Maren Giobbi92 pts
#1Nate Currie92 pts
#4Sal Peralta91 pts
#4Derek Bradley91 pts
#4Taylor Murdoch91 pts
#4Brian Newman91 pts
#4Dave Hunt91 pts
#9Jesse Cornett90 pts
#9Maxwell Fritz90 pts
#9Randy Tucker90 pts
#9Rhett Lawrence90 pts
#9Erik Van Hagen90 pts
#9Joel Shapiro90 pts
#9Anthony Brady90 pts
#16Jefferson Smith89 pts
#16Mark Schwebke89 pts
#16Jack Dempsey89 pts
#16Steve Davis89 pts
#16Andrew Tunall89 pts
#16Doran Spencer89 pts
#16Andrew Darkins89 pts
#16Ken Ray89 pts
#16David English89 pts
#16Marc Abrams89 pts
#16Ken Allen89 pts
#16Dylan Amo89 pts
#16Rob Wagner89 pts
#16Jules Kopel-Bailey89 pts
#30Katy Daily88 pts
#30Jennifer Shmikler88 pts
#30Nathaniel Applefield88 pts
#30Andrew Ross88 pts
#30Brent Barton88 pts
#30Becca Uherbelau88 pts
#30Dena Hellums88 pts
#30Adam Villarreal88 pts
#30Keith Quick88 pts
#30Bert Lowry88 pts
#30Chris Ulbrich88 pts
#30Rich Rodgers88 pts
#30Meredith Shield88 pts
#30Andrew Simon88 pts
#30Phil Barnhart88 pts
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    The competitive side of me really wants to win! I came pretty close in both the primaries and general election.

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    As far as coming close on the vote total goes, aren't votes still being counted in Oregon? I called the SoS's office yesterday to inquire, and someone told me that was the case. They told they expected everything to be done by the end of this week, but they weren't sure of that.

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    Yeah, there are still a few straggler votes out there -- mostly ballots that were dropped off in drop boxes at the wrong counties and ballots that were torn, soaked, etc.

    If there were a big money prize here, we might wait until every last ballot was counted. But there's not - and 10 days is long enough to wait!

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    At this point the number of ballots remaining should be fairly small. But that's why elections results are unofficial until 3 weeks after the election. At that point they'll be certified and we'll get access to the abstracts.

    Also included in the list above that Kari mentioned is those ballots that had a signature match problem. Voters are sent a letter and given a certain number of days to come in and verify their signature at county elections. Once they do that, their ballot will be counted.

    It's funny, I'm usually over optimistic on these things. So this year I tried a new track and went a bit more pessimistic than I'd like. It worked out on some races, like state legislative races I really wanted to win but felt we'd lose. But it also meant that in areas like Obama's electoral college count, I went way too low. So from now on I think I'm just going to stick with my optimistic outlook on these things.

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    Thanks for posting; I've been curious. Congrats, everyone!

    I hope more of these folks will post comments in their own names now that they have built up some pundit cred.

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    When I inquired yesterday, they told me that they didn't really know how many ballots were left to be counted, but that 100,000 ballots was a fair estimate. I'm not saying you should wait on awarding punditology accolades or anything, but I am curious if anyone knows for certain just what the state of the counting is in Oregon.

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    w00t! That was fun. I'd like to thank all of the other competitors for a well-fought contest, particularly my two fellow 92-pointers. (Incidentally, "activist" is only my political hat. In my non-political life I'm a designer as well—maybe Maren and I are on to something).

    I think it may be a bit early for a full-blown concession though, as I believe there are still votes to be cast. I seem to recall my guess for Obama's total being 1,060,200. Since the most recent count I'm seeing is 1,020,003, I'm feeling pretty good about the chances of there being another 40,197 Obama votes out there.

  • Rhett (unverified)

    Just one thing to say: In your face, Katy Daily!

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    Obviously, that should be votes to be counted. Clearly all votes have been cast at this point...

    I wish I could remember how I picked, so I knew which races I'd screwed up (other than the Obama total, which I wrote down knowing I'd be curious about it later—what I don't remember is how exactly I came up with that somewhat random number). Pretty sure I blew the Adamson race. Maybe Eberle too. Don't remember by thoughts on the Gilbert race. Sad to say, but I think I may have gotten Darcy's race correct, contrary to my wishes and small personal financial investment. Pretty sure I blew M61 because I recall noting that I would be pissed at being sold a bill of goods by supposedly progressive types who said we HAD to vote for 57 to prevent certain catastrophe (and yes, I'm pissed).

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    So how did you determine the answers to the questions about the number of senators, house members, and EVs? All of these are still undecided. Surely that would put me over the top....

  • AJ526 (unverified)

    Dangit, so close! I may be right about the three oustanding races though...

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    <h2>Well, I went with 57 in the Senate, since I chucked Alaska and Minnesota (and Georgia isn't a flip unless/until the runoff changes the outcome). And the number of House races still to be decided is 6 - which won't change the outcome of this challenge (with its 10-seat ranges.)</h2>

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