Punditology 2014: Our collective, conventional wisdom

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Our call? The Republicans DON'T take back the Senate. Please, let that be true!

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:

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:

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:

Fifth, the Oregon Senate* races:

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.

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:

Oh, and the tiebreaker:

And now, we wait. And work.

Good luck, everyone!

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