Election Prediction Winners
I’ve been waiting to hand out recognition for correctly predicting the Electoral map until all states have been decided. Missouri still hasn’t been called, although it’s likely to fall into McCain’s camp. North Carolina has been called for Obama, who also picked up one elector in Nebraska, the first time either Maine or Nebraska has actually split its delegation despite rules allowing it for decades. The final tally, then, should be Obama 365, McCain 173.
Nate Silver is drawing praise from all corners for his prediction that Obama would get 349 electors and McCain 189 but several others did better than that.
Congrats to Steven Taylor, who was the closest: Obama 364, McCain 174. In addition to not forecasting the Nebraska split, he incorrectly gave Missouri to Obama and Indiana to McCain; since both have 11 Electors, though, it was a wash.
Among the OTB gang, Alex Knapp came closest: 350 – 188. He correctly called the Nebraska 2nd going to Obama but thought (as I did) that McCain would edge him in North Carolina and Indiana while Obama would take Missouri. He also got Virginia right.
My own prediction of Obama 325, McCain 213 wasn’t great. Percentagewise, calling 48 out of 51 contests correctly isn’t bad. But I missed on 3 of 8 Battlegrounds, which were the real calls. (No, I don’t count Pennylvania as a battleground; it’s a blue state that Obama was leading by 9 points going into election day. So no extra credit to me for getting it right.)
I correctly gave Obama Ohio and Florida and predicted McCain would hold onto Montana, North Dakota, and Missouri. I was wrong, though, on North Carolina and Indiana, both of which went very narrowly to Obama. That’s not so bad, really; they were the closest of tossups in the aggregate polls and I both picked in the direction the polls pointed me to and went with history.
Most spectacularly, I made a reach in my home state of Virginia, predicting it would stay Red and confound the polls. Instead, Obama won by 200,000 votes out of over 3.6 million cast — almost exactly what the RealClearPolitics average said would happen. The Commonwealth has now elected, in consecutive elections, a Democratic governor, two new Democratic Senators, and a Democratic president. Virginia is no longer a Red state. It is, at best, a swing state, and probably a Blue state. I’ve been predicting that would happen for years but thought it would take a wee bit longer to happen.