It's time to finally report on the results of the Punditology Challenge for the 2012 primary election. First, a note about our conventional wisdom.
As usual, as a group - all 189 of us - were mostly right, except when we were wildly wrong. Overall, our score was 19 out of a possible 23. That was better than any one individual, a true demonstration of the wisdom of crowds. More on the top punditologists below.
As a group, we were right about all the Portland races - except for the fourth place pick in the mayor's race. (We picked Cameron Whitten, with Tre Arrow just one pick behind. Correct answer? Scott Rose.) In Clackamas County, we overwhelmingly had Dave Hunt as the favorite - with 86% putting him in a runoff or winning outright. We did correctly place John Ludlow in the runoff, but just 14 of us had him matched up with Charlott Lehan. Otherwise, we were spot on in Clackmas County. We did correctly pick the Damon/Smith runoff and Martha Schrader winning outright.
We were wildly wrong about the Jackson County DA race, with 72% picking former legislator Rob Patridge to win or lead. In reality, chief deputy DA Beth Heckert won, demonstrating a voter preference for experience as a prosecutor rather than political connections and endorsements. But we were right about the races in Lane County, Washington County, and the Multnomah library levy.
And finally, like many other observers, we were surprised by the outcome in the Supreme Court race where Nena Cook and Dick Baldwin made the runoff, acing out Tim Sercombe. 62% of us had Sercombe in the runoff or winning outright, with just 56% for Baldwin and 50% for Cook.
But as a group, after failing miserably in November 2010 (picking just 10 of 18 right), we were spot on about all five legislative races - Knopp, Reardon, Williamson, Pederson, and G. Whitsett. We also picked the correct order of finish in the GOP presidential primary - Romney, Paul, Santorum, Gingrich.
Now, on to the real question: Who won? Which political nerd reigns supreme?
Top marks, with 18 of 23 right, go to Joel Shapiro and Deane Funk. Shapiro is a former Wyden aide, now back home as
chief-of-staff policy counsel to Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel. A lobbyist for PGE, Funk is now a two-time winner - having also won the May 2010 punditology challenge. It seems that if you want to know what's going to happen in a primary election, Deane Funk is the guy to ask. Tiebreaker goes to Funk, who pegged Steve Novick's total vote at 67567, just 14k votes off. (Deane's number is darn close to the median vote total picked by all of us together.)
Congratulations, Deane, we bow down to your crystal ball!
Just three folks got 17 of 23 right - Sal Peralta, former legislative candidate and Independent Party activist; Heather Weigler, campaign manager to Ellen Rosenblum; and Joe Keizur, former Hillsboro City Council member.
And nine folks got 16 of 23 right - the once and future State Representative Brent Barton, SDLF's Christine Lewis, Bonamici staffer Ryan Mann, activist Scott Pratt, campaign hack Jayme Rabenberg, lobbyists Andrew Riley and Danelle Romain, Reardon campaign manager Edward McGlone, and House Democrats communications director Jared Mason-Gere.
The median number picked correctly? 13 of 23. Thanks to everyone who participated. We'll do it again in November!