Punditology 2010: Drum roll, please...

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

It's time to finally report on the results of the Punditology Challenge for the 2010 general election. First, a note about our conventional wisdom.

As usual, we punditologists - all 246 of us - were mostly right. Except when we were wildly wrong. Overall, our score was 45 out of a possible 61 (with the top score at 50 of 61). Only 17 individuals did better than our consensus conventional wisdom.

As a group, we were right about all the statewide races and federal races in Oregon (only off by the margin in Wyden's race and by one county for Kitzhaber.) We correctly picked 14 of 15 outside-of-Oregon races right and correctly predicting the number of Democratic U.S. Senators (but missing on the number of Democratic House members.) We correctly picked 9 of 10 local and state measures, and even 7 of the 8 local candidate races.

But, as a group, we were a disaster when it came to picking Oregon House races - with just 6 of 13 correct. We were wrong when we picked Democrats Susan Sokol Blosser, Katie Riley, Will Rasmussen, Nick Kahl, Cheryl Myers, Suzanne VanOrman, and Judy Stiegler. We fared better in the Senate, missing only one of the five (Brent Barton). We were also overoptimistic in the total seats - pegging it at 32 Democrats in the House and 17 in the Senate.

(Go back and review our conventional wisdom in detail here.)

One note: While the national media may not yet be ready to call it for Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, I am. As of this evening, the Alaska Daily News reports that Murkowski has passed Joe Miller in the total vote count.

Now, on to the real question: Who won? Which political nerd reigns supreme?

Only one punditologist scored a full 50 correct picks. The top honors go to Wayne Kinney, Oregon's Democratic National Committeeman and Senator Ron Wyden's representative in Bend. (For the tiebreaker, Wayne also predicted 96,991 write-in votes for Lisa Murkowski - a total that I suspect will be within just a thousand or two of the final count.) Wayne was nearly perfect, other than legislative races, where he got 13 of 18 right.

Runner-up honors go to lobbyist Phil Donovan and campaign staffers Ryan Mann and Alan Fleischman, each of whom scored 49 of 61 correct. I'll break that tie for Phil Donovan, who is the only one of the three in the ballpark for the Murkowski tiebreaker (at 100,000.)

Three folks picked 48 correctly - law student and former Merkley aide Russ Kelley, energy activist and lobbyist Jeff Bissonnette, and Eric Schmidt from the Association of Oregon Counties.

Four punditologists picked 47 correctly -- Chris Warner, Evan Manvel, Jon Chandler, and David Williams. Six picked 46 right -- Tim Crail, Stephen Elzinga, Brian Newman, John Trull, Marc Abrams, and Luke Jansen. And four picked 45 correctly (matching the consensus outcome) -- Ralph Saperstein, Rachel Kloor, Joe Baessler, and Dusty Hoesly.

Honorable mention to City of Gresham spokesperson Laura Bridges Shepard, who was the only punditologist to correctly predict a 30/30 tie in the House and a 16-14 split in the Senate. Also, to Jonathan and Rachel Kloor - who were the only two punditologists to correctly pick every single legislative race in Oregon. This last cycle, Jonathan worked as the research director for the House Republicans and later, for Chris Dudley. Rachel described herself as a campaign staffer, but I'm not sure where.

The median score? 38 of 61. (Interestingly, but not surprisingly - the sixteen punditologists who categorize themselves as lobbyists did better than any other group, with a median score of 41 of 61.)

We'll do it again in 2012. Thanks for participating!

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    WTG Wayne Kinney! Next time I'm totally coming over to your house to cheat off your paper. :)

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    Rachel Kloor is staff to Rep. Sherri Sprenger.

    Well played Rachel!

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    Usually, when I predict something, people say: There goes Wayne again.

    Really, though, it's nice to have my 15 seconds.

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    Congrats, Wayne! Impressive job.

    I exceeded my own usual dismal performance, getting 41 correct--above the median.

    Kari, you had us select our category (which is why you knew the lobbyists did well). I'm wondering how other categories did and whether bloggers were as bad as usual.

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      Yeah, lobbyists and the vaguely-defined "students" (which seems to include a bunch of people I know are current or former campaign staffers) and campaign staffers did better than the median.

      Bloggers and political activists did just shy of the median.

      Jeff, you and I tied. I'll save us the embarrassment of noting just how badly we actually did. :)

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    A blind monkey throwing darts probably beat me.

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    Great job, Wayne!

    I only hit 35 right, but I'm pleased given how little I know of races in other areas of the state.

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