At long last, it is finally Election Day. And, as promised, here's the conventional wisdom from 271 folks who participated in the 2012 Oregon Primary Punditology Challenge. Our participants include journalists, lobbyists, campaign hacks, political consultants, elected officials, and a whole lot of political junkies and activists.
An important caveat: In years past, we've learned that the Punditology conventional wisdom is usually right -- but when we're wrong, we are spectacularly wrong. It is certainly possible for everyone to be surprised. (And if your favored candidate is on the wrong side of the C.W., get to work, and prove us all wrong!)
Also, note that these percentages say nothing about the expected vote totals. If 100% of us think that a candidate is going to win 51% to 49%, the number you'll see here will be 100%.
To the predictions!
First, there's no surprise in the Presidential. 83% think Barack Obama is going to win the popular vote and 94% think he's going to win the electoral vote. 55% think he'll win with 270 to 299 electoral votes - and 37% think it'll be 300 to 364 EVs.
Almost no one picked any states to flip toward Obama from the states he lost in 2008. As for states he won that folks think he'll lose in 2012, 178 folks picked North Carolina, 167 picked Florida, 149 picked Indiana, 68 picked Virgina, and 52 picked Colorado. The rest got tiny support.
In the tiebreaker question, the median number of Oregon votes for Barack Obama that we punditologists picked is 980,000.
Second, the Congressional races.
- 93% picked Elizabeth Warren (D) over Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts.
- 90% picked Sherrod Brown (D) over Josh Mandel (R) in Ohio.
- 86% picked Tim Kaine (D) over George Allen (R) in Virginia.
- 78% picked Jeff Flake (R) over Richard Carmona (D) in Arizona.
- 78% picked Tammy Baldwin (D) Tommy Thompson (R) in Wisconsin.
- 76% picked Rick Berg (R) over Heidi Heitkamp (D) in North Dakota.
- 73% picked Deb Fischer (R) over Bob Kerrey (D) in Nebraska.
- 69% picked Angus King (I) over Cynthia Dill (D) and Charlie Summers (R) in Maine.
And yeah, I stupidly left out Missouri, Indiana, and Montana from the pick list.
A total of 6% think the Democrats will have 48 or fewer seats (plus Bernie Sanders and maybe Angus King) in the U.S. Senate. 9% think it's 49. 14% think it'll be 50. 19% say it'll be 51. 28% say it'll be 52. 14% think it'll be 53. And 10% think it'll be 54 or more.
Democrats currently control 191 seats in the U.S. House. Just 7% think Dems will lose seats. 53% think we'll gain, but no more than 200 total. 36% think we'll gain seats, more than 200 but less than the 217 for a majority. And just 4% of us think that Speaker Pelosi will be back.
Third, the Oregon Statewide races.
- 94% think Kate Brown is headed for another term as Secretary of State.
- 94% think Brad Avakian is headed for another term as Labor Commissioner.
- 69% think Dick Baldwin will be elected to the Oregon Supreme Court.
- 73% think Tim Volpert will be elected to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
- BONUS: 89% think Jay Inslee will win the Governor's race in Washington.
Fourth, the Portland and Clackamas County races.
- 97% think Charlie Hales will be the next Mayor of Portland.
- 25% think the write-ins will total less than 5% of the vote. 41% think it'll be between 5% and 10%. 26% have pegged the write-ins at 10% to 15%. And 7% think it'll be over 15%.
- In a close toss-up, 57% think Charlotte Lehan will win the Clackamas County Chair race.
- 72% think Jamie Damon will win re-election to the Clackamas County Commission.
- And yeah, I stupidly left off Fritz/Nolan. It's going to be a mystery, folks!
Fifth, the Oregon Senate races.
- 95% think Arnie Roblan (D) will defeat Scott Roberts (R) in SD-5.
- 98% think Mark Hass (D) will defeat Gary Coe (R) in SD-14.
- 86% think Laurie Monnes Anderson (D) will defeat Scott Hansen (R) in SD-25.
- Note: For much of the first day Punditology was open, I had the wrong party labels in the SD-2 race between Herman Baertschiger and Jim Diefenderfer. And the picks show that folks were picking the (R). So, I'm chucking it out of the contest.
If all three of those races are won by Democrats, and barring any shockers, Democrats should land once again at 16 seats. And sure enough, 69% of us have pegged it at 16. 16% think it'll be 17, and 5% think it'll be 18 or more. 9% think it'll be a 15-15 tie, and just 2% think the Democrats are going to lose control.
Sixth, the Oregon House races.
- 96% think Jeff Barker (D) will defeat Manuel Castaneda (R) in HD-28.
- 93% think Val Hoyle (D) will defeat Dwight Coon (R) in HD-14.
- 90% think Betty Komp (D) will defeat Kathy LeCompte (R) in HD-22.
- 88% think Kevin Cameron (R) will defeat Claudia Kyle (D) in HD-19.
- 87% think Brent Barton (D) will defeat Steve Newgard (R) in HD-40.
- 85% think Jason Conger (R) will defeat Nathan Hovekamp (D) in HD-54.
- 80% think John Lively (D) will defeat Joe Pishioneri (R) in HD-12.
- 76% think Caddy McKeown (D) will defeat Nancy Brouhard (R) in HD-9.
- 76% think David Gomberg (D) will defeat Jerome Grant (R) in HD-10.
- 73% think Shawn Lindsay (R) will defeat Joe Gallegos (D) in HD-30.
- 68% think Shemia Fagan (D) will defeat Patrick Sheehan (R) in HD-51.
- 65% think Ben Unger (D) will defeat Katie Eyre (R) in HD-29.
- 58% think Julie Parrish (R) will defeat Carl Hosticka (D) in HD-37.
- 51% think Chris Gorsek (D) will defeat Matt Wand (R) in HD-49.
Put that all together and our collective wisdom pegs it at a 32-seat Democratic majority - with a 51/49 shot at a 33rd seat in HD-49.
Sure enough, just 5% think the Democrats win 29 or fewer seats. 3% think it's a 30-30 tie again. 23% think it's a bare 31-seat majority. 46% think it's 32 seats. 16% think it's 33 seats. And 7% think it's 34 or more seats.
Seventh, the ballot measure races.
Our conventional wisdom suggests that just three meaures will pass:
- 99% think Measure 77 (disaster prep) passes.
- 96% think Measure 78 (constitutional grammar) passes.
- 94% think Measure 85 (corporate kicker for K-12) passes.
While six measures all fail:
- 76% think Measure 79 (real estate transfer tax) fails.
- 92% think Measure 80 (marijuana) fails.
- 82% think Measure 81 (gillnet ban) fails.
- 97% think Measures 82 and 83 will fail.
- 85% think Measure 84 (estate tax) fails.
As for the local measures in Multnomah County:
- 81% think the county library district will pass.
- 84% think the PPS school bond will pass.
- 78% think the city arts tax will fail.
- 88% think the Wood Village casino measure will fail.
And for the two bonus questions:
- 89% think gay marriage will be legalized in Washington.
- 83% think death-with-dignity will be legalized in Massachusetts.
And now, we wait. And work.
Good luck, everyone!