At long last, it is time to report on the results of the 2012 Punditology Challenge.
It's two weeks after election day, but we didn't have a winner until the final three election results were called over the weekend. With the three Democratic wins by Florida's Patrick Murphy and Arizona's Ron Barber and Krysten Sinema, the Democrats are pegged at 201 seats. (Our question was whether it would be 199 or less, or 200+, so the outcome was in doubt!) Thanks for your patience.
First, a note about our conventional wisdom.
As usual, as a group - all 271 of us - were mostly right, except when we were wildly wrong. Overall, our consensus picks were right 94 times out of a possible 107 - substantially above the median individual.
As a group, we picked every single state correctly - except Florida, the closest of the presidential states (62% got it wrong). The median number of votes we thought Barack Obama would win in Oregon was 980,000; he got 945,033 at last count.
We picked every single Senate race correctly - except Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota (which 76% of us, and Nate Silver, got wrong.)
We correctly called every statewide candidate and ballot measure vote, except the Court of Appeals race between Tim Volpert and the victorious James Egan (74% wrong) and Measure 79 (76% wrong).
We picked every state legislative race right, except Joe Gallegos's win over Shawn Lindsay (73% wrong).
Our other misses? In Clackamas County, where we 59% though John Ludlow would lose, and where 73% thought Tootie Smith would lose. 78% of us also picked the Portland arts tax to lose. (Blame the errant poll question by Elway Research for that one.)
And lastly, 83% of us thought that the Massachusetts Death with Dignity law would pass - but it didn't.
Now, on to the real question you care about: Who won? Which political nerd reigns supreme?
Top marks, with 98 of 107 correct, go to Dan Isaacson and Dmitri Palmateer. Dan is a UO grad who is now a professor in Chicago, and Dmitri is an aide to Governor Kitzhaber. Tiebreaker goes to Dmitri - who pegged the Obama vote total at 999,999. (No, Dmitri, this isn't Price is Right!)
Congratulations, Dmitri, we bow down to your crystal ball!
Dan and Dmitri are followed close behind, with 97 of 107 correct, by Michael Burdick and Doug Moore. Michael is an aide to State Treasurer Wheeler and Doug is the executive director of OLCV.
Six people got 96 of 107 correct: Jonathan Poisner, Dena Hellums, Jon Isaacs, Logan Gilles, Aaron Rabiroff, and Marc Zolton. Note that the top 10 punditologists include the last three executive directors of OLCV. Wow.
The median number picked correctly? 89 out of 107.
Honorable mention goes to... well... me. I called the Obama vote total at 943,163 - just 830 votes off the current count. I had no idea! (Overall, I ranked 24th. Eh.)
Thanks to everyone who participated. We'll do it again in two years!