"Predict The Election" Contest

[ Posted Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 – 18:53 UTC ]

Since everyone else in the punditary universe is rehashing last night's presidential debate, we're going to do something more frivolous and fun today. We're going to run a "predict the election" contest for everyone to step into the pundits' shoes themselves. Consider yourself a wonk? Think you know better than the polls? Ready to publicly state what your predictions are? Well, then, get ready to play!

The rules are simple. There are three contests: one for House, one for Senate, and one for President. In each contest, you'll be asked to make your own predictions of how things are going to shake out on election night. Then there are a few tiebreaker questions to answer, to avoid having to award multiple prizes. These "prizes" are nothing more than bragging rights, as we do not have corporate sponsorship for such contests and are too cheap to put up our own money. Ahem.

Ready? Here we go. Example entries are given for each category, so just follow the examples when making your own predictions in the comments.


House of Representatives

The current makeup of the House is 190 Democrats to 240 Republicans, with five vacancies (at least according to Wikipedia). RealClearPolitics, as of this writing, predicts 165 comfortable Democratic seats, 18 leaning Democratic, 216 comfortable Republican seats, 15 leaning Republican, and 26 tossup races.

Pick the party makeup of the incoming House. Make sure your numbers add up to 435! [Example: "199 Democrats -- 236 Republicans"]

Tiebreaker Question 1 -- If the GOP regains control of the House, will John Boehner face a Republican challenger for the Speaker of the House, or will he be unopposed from within his own caucus?

Tiebreaker Question 2 -- What date will we know the final House result? Election Day is 11/6/12. Keep in mind, Louisiana has a "runoff" system if no candidate wins an outright majority of the vote, and the runoff election can be a month later. Also, don't forget recounts -- with 435 races, at least one or two will probably go through a recount process, meaning until it is done we won't know the final House result.

[Example of a complete House contest entry:]

"HOUSE -- 199 D / 236 R. Boehner will be challenged for Speaker. House results final 12/14/12."



Current makeup of the Senate is 53 Democrats to 47 Republicans. Two of the Democrats are technically Independents (Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders). Both Independent seats are up for election, Sanders is running but Lieberman is stepping down. Counting the Independents as Democrats, the total up for election: 23 Democrats and 10 Republicans.

Safe seats up for election (by our estimate) for Democrats: California, Delaware, Florida, Hawai'i, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. Maine is a special case, because an Independent is expected to win, but he will in all likelihood caucus with Democrats when it comes time to elect a Majority Leader. Bernie Sanders is considered safe, so we will likely end up with two Independents caucusing with Democrats in the incoming Senate.

Safe seats for Republicans (in our estimate, again): Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Added together, this means 45 safe Democratic seats, and 43 safe Republican seats.

Your job is to call all of the other races. Here's a list, with their current polling percent averages from RealClearPolitics (who notes that Indiana and North Dakota's data are weak, and the numbers may not be as good for these two states):

47.0% -- D -- Bob Casey (incumbent)
41.7% -- R -- Tom Smith

47.2 -- D -- Sherrod Brown (incumbent)
42.2 -- R -- Josh Mandel

48.5 -- D -- Elizabeth Warren
46.0 -- R -- Scott Brown (incumbent)

45.8 -- D -- Claire McCaskill (incumbent)
43.5 -- R -- Todd Akin

Virginia (open race)
47.6 -- D -- Tom Kaine
45.4 -- R -- George Allen

Wisconsin (open race)
48.3 -- D -- Tammy Baldwin
46.3 -- R -- Tommy Thompson

Connecticut (open race)
48.0 -- D -- Chris Murphy
46.0 -- R -- Linda McMahon

46.0 -- D -- Jon Tester (incumbent)
46.3 -- R -- Denny Rehberg

Arizona (open race)
42.5 -- D -- Richard Carmona
43.3 -- R -- Jeff Flake

Indiana (open race)
39.2 -- D -- Joe Donnelly
40.5 -- R -- Richard Mourdock

42.0 -- D -- Shelley Berkley
45.0 -- R -- Dean Heller (incumbent)

North Dakota (open race)
44.5 -- D -- Heidi Heitkamp
48.2 -- R -- Rick Berg

Tiebreaker Question 1 -- Which Senate race will be closest?

Tiebreaker Question 2 -- How many votes will decide the closest race?

Tiebreaker Question 3 -- Win or lose, what will be the percent spread in Massachusetts?

[Sample entry for Senate (don't forget to list all twelve races):]

"SENATE -- Democrats win: PA, OH, MA, MO, VA, WI, CT.
Republicans win: MT, AZ, IN, NV, ND.
Closest race will be CT, won by 35,000 votes. Warren will win MA, by 5.2%"



This one's somewhat easier than the Senate. Currently, Barack Obama has 16 safe states with 194 Electoral Votes ("EV"), while Mitt Romney has 21 safe states with 170 EV. Here's our list of safe states as of now:

Obama -- CA, DE, HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA, DC.

Romney -- AL, AK, AR, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MT, NE, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV, WY.

Your job is to call the other fourteen states. Here is a list of all the battleground states to call:

New Hampshire
North Carolina

Put all fourteen into one candidate's column or the other.

Tiebreaker Question 1 -- What will the popular vote percentage be nationwide (in tenths of a percent) for both candidates?

Tiebreaker Question 2 -- What time (WITH time zone) on election night will CNN officially announce the national winner?

Tiebreaker Question 3 -- There are three state initiatives on the ballot which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state. Which of them, if any, will pass?

[Sample entry for President:]

"PRESIDENT -- Obama wins CT, PA, MI, WI, OH, NV, IA, VA, and CO.
Romney wins NH, NC, FL, MO, AZ.
Popular vote will be Obama 51.2% to Romney 47.9%. CNN announces winner one minute after midnight, Eastern Time. Marijuana gets legalized in CO and WA."

So, are you ready to call the 2012 election? Tired of everyone else getting it wrong? Here's your chance to prove you've got the inside story on the upcoming election -- post your contest entries in the comments, and after the election dust settles, we'll announce who got closest in each category!

-- Chris Weigant


Cross-posted at Business Insider
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


22 Comments on “"Predict The Election" Contest”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Just a note to let everyone know I just answered a whole bunch (a "binderful"???) of comments on yesterday's debate column. So go check it out...


  2. [2] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Fine I'll go 1st - chickens! I'd have liked to have waited for post-debate polls (still NONE!? Wtf!) but whatever.

    Michale and I had our own mini version of this in a post a while back, just looking at Presidential 'battlegrounds' (I used this in italics as Michale's picks involved Romney winning Minnesota ;)). I'm sticking with those same picks as far as the Presidency is concerned. Here are the rest. I put in some non-serious joke ones too :)

    Non-serious: 222 D, 212 R, Boehner challenged by Ryan, results final 12/12/12 at 12:12pm - Republicans up in arms about this obvious conspiracy.

    Serious: 218 D, 217 R, Boehner unopposed, Results final 12/12/12 (either the Tea Party or the world ends that day...)

    Democrats win PA, OH, MA, MO, VA, WI, CT, NV
    Republicans win MT, AZ, ND, IN
    Closest: NV - Democrats win by 15,000, Warren wins MA by 4.9%

    Non-serious: Tied at 269/269. Romney elected President by House, with Biden elected as Vice President by Senate. Romney has a heart-attack the day before inauguration and Biden is President on inauguration day. Liz is happy. :)

    Obama – CT, CO, FL, IA, MI, NH, NV, OH, PA, VA, WI
    Romney – AZ, MO, NC
    Popular vote: Obama 49.1%, Romney 46.8%; CNN announces 11:27pm, Marijuana legalized in CO, WA.

  3. [3] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Damn I wish I'd read today's polls before I made the Nevada Senate prediction!

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:
  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once again, Obama shows he is a 1%'er...

    And ya'all give him a pass...

    Anyways, to predictions..

    I am not the political guru ya'all are... So I'll keep mine short and sweet...

    Romney will be President.

    GOP will maintain hold on the House.

    GOP will eek out a small majority in the Senate..

    Those are my predictions...


  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Barack Obama on Benghazi: 'If four Americans get killed, it's not optimal'

    Oh yea...

    John Stewart is a hoot, isn't he???


    When is Obama going to tire of soft-ball interviews???

    Why is he so afraid of facing real reporters???

    Question #3

    Would Weigantians let a Republican President get away with this kind of crap???



  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's our POTUS... Laughing about 4 Americans killed, including our Ambassador.... :^/


  8. [8] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Would Weigantians let a Republican President get away with this kind of crap???

    OMG, I can't even begin to imagine the firestorm that would be going on if this had happened under a Republican president. And right before the election, no less. The press would be having a field day.

  9. [9] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Now THIS is an interesting Likely Voters poll, conducted for PA party officials and properly sampled/weighted:

  10. [10] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    O sure has managed to anger Ohio's mine workers:

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    OMG, I can't even begin to imagine the firestorm that would be going on if this had happened under a Republican president. And right before the election, no less. The press would be having a field day

    Yep. I can just picture how the Left in general and Weigantians in particular would react if Bush had shut out the Press as Obama has done..

    If Bush had done softball interview after softball interview and refused to do any really serious sit-downs with real reporters.

    Now THIS is an interesting Likely Voters poll, conducted for PA party officials and properly sampled/weighted:

    This is why I don't put any faith in polls.. If you search, you can find a poll that supports any position you want.


    Since RCP is a POLL OF POLLS that seems to be acceptable around here, let's mosey on over to their and take a look... :D

    What's this!???

    ROMNEY has a FIVE POINT lead in the RCP poll of polls???!!!

    Well, I guess RCP is not going to be acceptable around here any more, eh? :D

    I seem to remember that the consensus around here was that no one would be worried until Obama started slipping in the RCP poll of polls....


    131-Toss Ups


    So... Let's be honest...

    Anyone worried??? :D


  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    And then we have Clinton campaigning for Romney... :D

    Clinton: I Thought Obama 'Was Going to Cry'

    But, once again, Clinton is dead on ballz accurate (I.T.).

    Obama has failed...

    Look at this list of Obama Administration backed Alternative Energy companies that are tanking or have tanked:

    Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
    SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
    Solyndra ($535 million)*
    Beacon Power ($69 million)*
    AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
    Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
    SunPower ($1.5 billion)
    First Solar ($1.46 billion)
    Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
    EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
    Amonix ($5.9 million)
    National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
    Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
    Abound Solar ($374 million)*
    A123 Systems ($279 million)*
    Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
    Johnson Controls ($299 million)
    Schneider Electric ($86 million)
    Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
    ECOtality ($126.2 million)
    Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
    Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
    Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
    Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
    Range Fuels ($80 million)*
    Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
    Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
    LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
    UniSolar ($100 million)*
    Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
    GreenVolts ($500,000)
    Vestas ($50 million)
    LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
    Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
    Navistar ($10 million)
    Satcon ($3 million)*

    *denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy..

    And it's Joe and Jane Six-Pack that is on the hook for every one of those bad calls..

    If a CEO had such a lousy record, he would be fired...

    So, let's all agree to fire Obama in 3 weeks. We'll give him a couple months to find a new job...

    It's the least we can do and the most we SHOULD do..

    Give this guy another 4 years!??



  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    That pretty much says it all as to why Obama is going to lose the election..

    His record speaks for itself..

    But only to those who want to listen to the facts...


  14. [14] 
    michty6 wrote:

    If Bush had done softball interview after softball interview and refused to do any really serious sit-downs with real reporters

    Lololololololol this is pretty much what every Republican does - they go on Fox only for nice and easy softballs. It is amazing that you accuse one side of doing this while so completely blind to your own.

    ROMNEY has a FIVE POINT lead in the RCP poll of polls???!!!
    Well, I guess RCP is not going to be acceptable around here any more, eh? :

    I know you don't like polls (unless they agree with you) but this isn't a 5 'point' lead. And RCP still shows a 281-257 Obama win (this is before the recent batch of bad polls for Romney in Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio are reflected (although actually by Romney standards Obama +1 in Ohio is a 'good' poll for him!))...

    But, once again, Clinton is dead on ballz accurate (I.T.).

    100% agree. You should watch the full video, it is indeed dead on ballz accurate.

  15. [15] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Hmmm for anyone considering their answers, the latest analysis I am seeing is that there may be a split between the nationwide vote winner and the Electoral College winner. This is because Obama's vote in the South has deteriorated as evidenced by the recent Gallup +7 poll - this is from this very Gallup poll:

  16. [16] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    PPP is saying that Romney has a 52/45 advantage in New Hampshire on the economy.

  17. [17] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    After a lifetime of voting for and supporting Democrats — and even declining appointment to the U.S. Senate from a Democratic governor — Lee Iacocca Thursday endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president....

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:


    Yes, if you change the polls to ignore tossups, then you get to have Obama ahead..

    If you change the polls to ignore those states that are Solid and Likely Romney, then you have Obama winning by a landslide...

    But none of that is reality...

    You don't get to change the polls so as to ensure Obama is ahead..

    The RCP polls are constant here in Weigantia...

    And the RCP polls show Romney is ahead right now...

    These are the facts..

    Deal with it...


    PS- LAST RESORT was frakin' AWESOME tonight!!!! Anyone not watching this show is missing a thrill ride!!! :D

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Good call, CB...

    Why is Lee Iacocca, this life long Democrat endorsing Romney??

    Do ANY of you have an answer to that???


  20. [20] 
    michty6 wrote:

    And the RCP polls show Romney is ahead right now...
    These are the facts.

    Lol you really do have an incredibly loose definition of 'fact' lol

  21. [21] 
    ninjaf wrote:

    My predictions:
    President Obama is re-elected and Democrats hold the Senate. My optimism says the Democrats will re-gain the House but, to be honest, I have not been following much of the down ballot races to really say either way with much conviction.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:


    Lol you really do have an incredibly loose definition of 'fact' lol

    Not really. It's just different from your definition of "fact".

    You definition of fact is anything that puts Obama in a good light.. Anything that puts Obama in a BAD light is not a fact, in your opinion..

    'S ok.. In two weeks, everyone will know who had the FACTS on their side and who did not. :D


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