Friday, March 27, 2009

Election 2008 Predictions Review

Amid all the Idol chatter, I have received a couple comments wondering when I would be getting back to politics. Well, I have held off on this post now until now for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the results of the Presidential election, while not unexpected to me, were still a little depressing, but I have gotten over that and am focused on the future, and elections which will be held in 2009 and 2010. Before we get to those though, I will have one more post making predictions on the first few Special U.S. House elections which will occur this year. Only one of them (which will be decided on Tuesday) should be competitive though. Then, soon enough, we will start to look briefly at the contests for Governor this year in New Jersey and Virginia, and then all the offices up in 2010.

The largest reason I have held off on this post though is because that all these months later, the U.S. Senate contest in Minnesota is still in the courts and is technically undetermined. I am definitely of the mindset that any day without Al Franken in the U.S. Senate is a good day and I hope that Norm Coleman fights on as long as it takes. I had wanted that race to be resolved, one way or another, so that I could formally examine all my predictions and see how I did. While I wish it were not the case, conventional wisdom has now been for some time that the courts will eventually rule in favor of Franken and he will be seated. So, while I would delighted to revisit this and do some recalculations, I am sadly forced to assume a 42% Franken victory in the politically goofy state of Minnesota.

First, let's look at my final Presidential predictions. Sadly, that teleprompter guy was elected as I expected. I said the margin would be 3 points, but instead it was about 6. That was though closer than the Gallup polls and some others were predicting.

As for the Electoral College, it did not turn out to be quite as close as I was hoping it could be, but the margins were so close, I mentioned that Obama could easily surpass 300 if most everything fell his way. So, while I was only off on Wisconsin in the 2004 Electoral College, this time I was incorrect on my final Presidential predictions for Florida, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio .... plus one measly vote from CD 2 in Nebraska. Still though, I was at least right on 46 out of 51 statewide (plus D.C.) contests, but that was not too hard.

Moving on to the other contests:

In Gubernatorial elections, I was correct on 10 out of 11, only missing out on the narrow Democrat win in North Carolina. Ironically enough, the appointment of the Democrat Governor of Arizona to the Cabinet gave that state a Republican Governor, so my balance of power prediction was correct.

Governor- 10-1/ 91%
(was 35-1 for 97% in 2006, with obviously many more contests)

For the U.S. Senate, Minnesota would be the only one I was wrong on, by an obvious razor thin margin, and with all sorts of shenanigans apparent.

U.S. Senate- 34-1/97%
(was 31-2 for 94% in 2006)

Here are the races I got wrong out of the 435 for U.S. House, starting with those in which I incorrectly predicted a Republican victory with the name of the eventual winner listed as well:

1. AL-Bright
2. CT- Himes
3. ID- Minnick
4. MD- Kratovil
5. NV- Titus
6. NH- Shea-Porter
7. NY- Massa
8. OH- Dreihaus
9. PA- Kanjorski
10. VA- Nye
11. VA- Perriello

In 2006, every incorrect prediction I had was for a GOP win. In 2008, I incorrectly predicted some Democrats wins as well, and I was glad to be wrong on these:

1. AK- Young
2. CA- McClintock
3. LA- Cao
4. LA- Cassidy
5. MN- Paulsen
6. NJ- Lance

U.S. House:

418-17 (96%)
(went 416-19 for 96% in 2006)

Overall- 462-19 (96%)

(went 482-22 for 96% in 2006)

Overall, because of the House races, I managed to do slightly better in this more recent cycle than the one in 2006. While it is true that a vast majority of House races are easy to predict, I had a hard time finding anyone who managed to miss just 17 or fewer. If I can brag on that, I think I did pretty well once again. If only, I did not err in picking those Democrats....