Phew, Election Day is finally here. And, as promised, here's the conventional wisdom from 201 people who think they're smart enough to call 'em all in 2014. 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 favorite campaign is on the wrong side of the C.W., get to work today, 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, our in-state federal races and the gubernatorial race:
There is a strong consensus about the Governor's race. 98% picked Kitzhaber to win, though 76% said he'd win by less than 10 points. 19% of us think he'll 6 or fewer counties; 24% say it's 7, 28% say it's 8, 15% say it's 9, and 14% picked 10 or more. The median pick is 8 counties.
There is also absolute unanimity about the Senate race. That's right: 100% of punditologists say Merkley wins. 16% say he'll win by 20 points or more; 81% says it's more than 10 but less than 20 points. 19% of us say Merkley will win 8 counties; 10% say it's 9, 23% say it's 10, 10% say it's 11, and 27% say it's 12 or more. The median pick is 10 counties.
And yeah, 100% of us say DeFazio will win -- 85% calling it a win of more than 10 points. 100% of us say Schrader will win -- 57% calling it better than 10 points.
Second, the federal races outside of Oregon:
- Alaska: 60% picked Dan Sullivan (R)
- Colorado: 53% picked Mark Udall (D)
- Georgia: 43% picked David Perdue (R) leads, runoff election (11% call it outright)
- Iowa: 71% picked Joni Ernst (R)
- Kansas: 66% picked Greg Orman (I)
- Kentucky: 80% picked Mitch McConnell (R)
- Louisiana: 48% picked Mary Landrieu (D) leads, runoff election (15% call it outright)
- New Hampshire: 88% picked Jeanne Shaheen (D)
- North Carolina: 77% picked Kay Hagan (D)
41% of us think the GOP will end up with 49 or fewer Senate seats, while 44% think it's 51 or more -- and 14% are pegging it at 50. In fact, the median pick was exactly 50 seats. (Oh, wouldn't that be fun.)
But our picks don't quite match up to that. If our collective wisdom is right, that's just two GOP pickups among these races -- but a loss in Kansas. And if we also toss in Arkansas, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana -- all above Nate Silver's 95% confidence level -- that, folks, would be just 49 seats for the Republicans (assuming Orman caucuses with the Democrats, or no one at all.)
As for the U.S. House, just 20% of us think the GOP will hold steady or lose seats. 35% think the pickup is five or fewer seats. 37% think it's six to twelve seats. And 6% think it's thirteen or more.
Third, the gubernatorial races around the country:
- Alaska: 51% picked Sean Parnell (R)
- Colorado: 84% picked John Hickenlooper (D)
- Connecticut: 81% picked Dannel Malloy (D)
- Florida: 79% picked Charlie Crist (D)
- Georgia: 43% picked Nathan Deal (R) leads, runoff election (30% call it outright)
- Illinois: 89% picked Pat Quinn (D)
- Kansas: 63% picked Paul Davis (D)
- Maine: 70% picked Mike Michaud (D)
- Wisconsin: 65% picked Scott Walker (R)
If our picks are right, then we're calling a bunch of big Democratic wins in the statehouses. If that comes to pass, it's surely a bit of a curiosity, as compared to the Senate races. (Why? Well, it's obvious when you realize it -- we're dealing with the 2010 Tea Party class of Governors, but the 2008 Obama class of Senators.)
Fourth, the Ballot Measures:
- 85% predict that Measure 88 (driver cards) will fail
- 94% predict that Measure 89 (equal rights) will pass
- 78% predict that Measure 90 (top-two primary) will fail
- 77% predict that Measure 91 (marijuana) will pass
- 71% predict that Measure 92 (GMO labeling) will fail
Fifth, the Oregon Senate* races:
- SD-3: 87% picked Alan Bates (D)
- SD-8: 87% picked Sara Gelser (D)
- SD-11: 98% picked Peter Courtney (D)
- SD-13: 79% picked Kim Thatcher(R)
- SD-15: 67% picked Bruce Starr (R)
- SD-20: 67% picked Alan Olsen (R)
- SD-26: 82% picked Chuck Thomsen (R)
And that jives with our median pick of 17 Democratic seats in the Senate. 7% project 15 or fewer seats; 24% project 16 seats; 48% project 17 seats, and 20% project 18 or more.
Sixth, the Oregon House races.
- HD-20: 68% picked Paul Evans (D)
- HD-25: 67% picked Bill Post (R)
- HD-29: 69% picked Susan McLain (D)
- HD-30: 88% picked Joe Gallegos (D)
- HD-40: 85% picked Brent Barton (D)
- HD-51: 92% picked Shemia Fagan (D)
- HD-54: 78% picked Knute Buehler (R)
Barring any shockers, those picks suggest a one-seat Democratic pickup (due to Paul Evans) and a 35-seat majority. But oddly, our median projection is 34 seats -- which suggests that most of us have at least one pick that's running against the consensus.
4% are projecting a Democratic loss of the majority. 7% think we're back to 31-29. 19% think it's a two-seat loss and a 32-seat majority. 19% think it's a one-seat loss and a 33-seat majority. 27% say we sit tight at 34 seats. 16% say it's a one-seat pickup to 35 seats. And 7% think the Democrats lands a 36-seat supermajority.
Finally, the local races:
- 54% of us think David Robinson is going to finally end the reign of error of Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall.
- 94% of us are projecting a win for the Portland Parks bond.
- 80% of us are projecting a win for the Metro density measure.
- 91% of us are projecting a win for the PPS levy.
Oh, and the tiebreaker:
- The median number of votes for Aelea Christofferson in the 2nd congressional district is 72,123 votes -- with 23% of us projecting her total between 70,000 and 80,000 votes (though 16% projected her total as less than 5000 votes, go figure.)
And now, we wait. And work.
Good luck, everyone!
By Kari Chisholm
Nov. 04, 2014
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