Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 Election Prediction Results

Now that all the races are finalized, I am going to take a look at how I did. The analysis of this election may wait a bit, but I just wanted to look at the nuts and bolts of my prediction and the record I accomplished as an amateur this cycle.

I sure as heck got many aspects of the Presidential race wrong (but so did those who were certain that Donald Trump would finish comfortably ahead of Hillary Clinton in the popular vote), and my record on Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races were not all that stellar. However, when it came to predicting the U.S. House races, wow, I did pretty well. I even did better than I did in 2014 and I would not have thought that was possible. Is it because there are just so many fewer truly competitive races these days? That may have something to do with it, but I do not see any professional political prognosticators who attempted to call all 435 races matching my total.
First, let's look at the Electoral College results of this horrific Presidential election. Everything I got wrong was in incorrectly predicting victories for Hillary Clinton, without truly grasping how totally inept and horrible she was as a candidate.

Thus, the moral disgrace that is the soon to be 45th President of the United States, made me look foolish, by winning the election and by making my predictions of the following incorrect:

Maine 2 (but that's not even a state)
North Carolina

Nate Silver and many other political geeks join me in such "disgrace" although they may have been less stubborn about Ohio than I.

Not a whole lot of races this cycle, but I did get three wrong, all of which were won by Republicans, which I am happy about, I guess. Am I still even a Republican? These are confusing times. I am definitely not a Democrat though.

Indiana- Eric Holcomb won pretty solidly. So much for that whole state being a battleground

Missouri- Another Midwestern Eric, this one named Greitens, definitely surprised me by winning. When I initially wrote about this race, I had no idea that Greitens was Jewish. If he is a successful Governor, he could be someone to watch in the future.

New Hampshire- Chris Sununu. I originally predicted a Sununu tossup win, then changed it at the end to have him losing in a tossup. I am glad he won. No state had more confounding election results this cycle than New Hampshire, and it definitely goes against their tradition of either one party or the other taking everything in most cycles. Nonetheless, Sununu was really the only GOP win there this year.

2016 Gubernatorial record:  9-3 (75%)

Past cycles-
2006: 35-1 (97%)
2008: 10-1 (91%)
2010: 34-3 (92%)
2012: 9-2 (82%)
2014: 32-4 (89%)


U.S. Senate-

One bad call went against Republicans and two went against Democrats. I guess I will take that, though I am sorry to see the sole GOP prediction loss. I am also sorry to see, though not surprised, Mark Kirk, whom has been either my Congressman or U.S. Senator since 2001 go down to defeat this year. I no longer have any Republican representing me in Washington D.C. in Congress, or in Springfield, as part of the Illinois General Assembly

New Hampshire- I waivered on Kelly Ayotte, but ultimately predicted she would narrowly pull it off. Sadly, she did not. She hurt herself with centrists by being too pro-Trump in an initial debate and then when she made the decision to finally break with him (and announce she would write in Mike Pence for President), the Trump fans abandoned her in significant numbers as well.

Pennsylvania- I was glad to see that Pat Toomey hung on against what was believed to be late momentum against him on behalf of his Democrat opponent. As we know, the polls in Pennsylvania were a bit off.

Wisconsin- Lo and behold, Ron Johnson beats Russ Feingold again. I never totally ruled him out, but did not expect him to win. Neither did most Republican political observers. Democrats feel a whole lot worse about this loss, once again though.

2016 U.S. Senate record: 31-3 (91%)

Past cycles-
2006: 31-2 (94%)
2008: 34-1 (97%)
2010: 34-3 (92%)
2012: 28-5 (85%)
2014: 36-0 (100%)

U.S. House-

First, a Housekeeping matter, pun intended, when reviewing my entries from October, there was one district, OH-8 to be exact, where I neglected to put "Safe R" next to the race for new GOP incumbent Warren Davidson, but that was definitely my prediction, as it was included in the totals.

Next, while these do not count towards the party results, the states of California, Louisiana, and Washington had some races where two candidates of the same party faced off in the general election. I predicted the specific winners of those and got most of them right, but unlike 2014, missed a couple.

In California 44, Democrat Nanette Barragan narrowly beat the other Democrat I had given it to. In last weekend's runoff of Louisiana 3, Republican Clay Higgins, "The Cajun John Wayne" fairly easily beat a more establishment Republican. I realized that would happen, but did not bother to alter the pre-November prediction

Incorrect Republican predictions:

1. FL 7- longtime incumbent John Mica, reminded voters too much of "the swamp" and went down to defeat at the hands of a Democrat neophyte

2. IL 10- in my neighboring district, anti-Trump Republican Bob Dold, as he did in 2012, went down to defeat during the Presidential cycle at the hands of Democrat Brad Schneider. A more unified party behind Dold would have been helpful, but the truth is that it is a very tough district during a Presidential year and Clinton trounced Trump there. As was the case in 2012, Dold led all night and it looked like a victory against the odds was possible, and then a late dump of votes from Lake County had him losing. He came back to unseat Schneider in 2014. Maybe that can happen again in 2018 and those two can be destined to trade that seat back and forth some more.

Incorrect Democrat predictions:

1. MN 2- to my surprise, controversial conservative talk radio host Jason Lewis beat a highly touted Democrat to keep a seat in GOP hands.

2. NE 2- Omaha, home-base of the World Champion Chicago Cubs owning Ricketts Family, saw one-term fluke Democrat Brad Ashford lose to Republican Don Bacon.

3. NY 19- Longtime GOP politico John Faso beat left-wing activist Zephyr Teachout to keep a seat Republican. I am glad that happened, but I thought she might have had a slight edge.

4. TX 23- Freshman Congressman Will Hurd, one of two African-American GOP House members repeated the 2014 result when he beat then incumbent Hispanic Democrat Pete Gallego. This was the only competitive Texas Congressional race and am glad to have gotten this one wrong.

2016 U.S. House record: 429-6 (99%)

Past cycles:
2006: 416-19 (96%)
2008: 418-17 (96%)
2010: 414-21 (95%)
2012: 415-20 (95%)
2014: 426-9 (98%)

2016 Grand Total: 469-12 (98%)

Past cycles:
2006: 482-22 (96%)
2008: 462-19 (96%)
2010: 482-27 (95%)
2012: 452-27 (94%)
2014: 494-13 (97%)