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The 2012 Elections were (generally) pretty great for Team Blue: we re-elected Barack Obama, picked up a few seats in both houses of Congress, and affirmed marriage equality/defeated anti-equality efforts in four states, among others. But, for one of you – the winner of the 2012 Daily Kos Elections Prediction Contest, that is, it's going to get even better. A whole ... Green's chocolate babka better!

To review, we asked you to pick a winner in the 40 races that Daily Kos Elections had rated as "Tossup" in the week prior to the election. (We moved one race, CT-Sen, away from Tossup and three races, KY-06, NY-01, and NY-24, to Tossup after we announced the contest.) As a tiebreaker, we also asked you to guess the percentage that each of the three major candidates – Democrat Cynthia Dill, Republican Charlie Summers, and Independent (Senator-elect) Angus King – would receive in the Maine Senate Race. The tiebreaker was scored using lowest absolute deviation, so no least-squares (ordinary or otherwise) or anything else fancy. (Sorry, you regression junkies!)

Collectively, our judgment was pretty good: in aggregate, the entries called 30 of the 40 races correctly. We were particularly confident (and correctly so) about Chris Murphy in CT-Sen and Tim Kaine in VA-Sen, with 98.6 percent and 97.4 percent of entrants predicting their respective victories. Though the margin in WA-Gov was close, the prediction race was not; 96.4 percent of people chose eventual victor, Dem Jay Inslee. Here is the full list of percentage of entries that called contest correctly:

Chart of Correct Entries by Contest
The entries overall were pretty bullish on Dems, and the nastiest surprises were a trio of house races narrowly won by the Republican candidate –€“ PA-12, OH-16, and IL-13. Only 12.5, 21.0, and 26.9 percent of entries called those correctly. The most "unexpected" pieces of good news, arguably, were Eric Swalwell'€™s defeat of Pete Stark in the CA-15 Dem internecine (72.2 percent thought Stark would win), and Heidi Heitkamp's victory in ND-Sen (57.7 percent thought Republican Rick Berg would win).

Overall, the Maine Senate predictions were rather good as well. The median predictions were King 49.7, Summers 34.4, Dill 14.0, good for a deviation of 7.57. (mr hungry dude submitted the best tiebreaker entry, calling the race with only 1.11 points of deviation.)

The individual ranges for each candidate, though, varied widely – Dill from 3 to 72, Summers from 3 to 70, and King from 0 to 83. A few of you didn't quite follow the instructions about percentages, but worry not, I interpreted them to the best of my ability: usually, this meant replacing commas with decimal points (sorry, this ain't Europe!), and taking something like, for example, 0.52 to represent 52 percent.

I know we told you in the instructions that "you may not want your results to add perfectly to 100," but, man, some of you really took that advice to heart – entrants thought that between the three of them, Dill, Summers, and King would receive between 78 percent and uh...161 percent (?).

But enough of that math thing, to the babka!

dwb115, WisJohn, and StephenCLE each called a whopping 36 of the 40 races correctly. (I assure you, that is substantially better than your Daily Kos Elections team did.)

Of the three, StephenCLE had the best tiebreaker score, at 7.19. (WisJohn's tiebreak score was 10.41, and dwb115's 14.49.) Stephen, please come on down (by which I mean PM David Nir) – he'll get you set up with your babka!

The full list of results is available here. (If you submitted multiple entries, I thought about disqualifying you, but instead, I took the latest entry you submitted.)

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the 2012 Daily Kos Elections Contest, and congratulations to the winner!

8:21 AM PT: I forgot to mention: we received about 800 entries, but from 785 unique (non-Daily Kos staff) entrants.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Now if you could disqualify (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    some of the "real" pollsters, then we might be on to something very useful.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:13:03 AM PST

  •  How many people participated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, Zack from the SFV

    in the contest?

    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), new ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

    by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:49:02 AM PST

  •  Congratulations to the winners! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, David Nir, Zack from the SFV

    For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37

    by Alibguy on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:16:36 AM PST

  •  What an honor this is (9+ / 0-)

    Good ladies and gentlemen of Daily Kos Elections, I feel like the one star at the awards show who didn't practice a speech and is just about speechless when their name is called to accept an award they've won.  This is crazy.

    Following election night, I knew that most of my predictions were pretty good.  I did go a perfect 33 for 33 in the Senate, which was definitely noteworthy (and I got a huge amount of satisfaction when Heitkamp was declare the victory over Berg).  However, in no way did I think the best out of 785 total predictions on DKE.  Dang.  When I do my elections post-mortem diary here soon I'll have to name it "predictions worthy of babka (insert here)..." haha.  

    My calls in the Senate races were great, and I missed just one state in the presidential race (Florida), but I admit that I got kinda lucky that some house races like IN-2 and FL-2 were not included in the DKE predictions.  I got both of those races wrong, and I'm sure that WisJohn or dwb115 would've gotten at least one of those correct.  I also misfired on NY-18 but to be fair I don't think hardly anybody predicted Sean Maloney beating Nan Hayworth.

    So far in my SSP/DKE career I've been predicting under the radar, but now I suppose I have somewhat of a target on my back going into 2014.  I relish the challenge.  I may not be the next Nate Silver yet, but at least I call Senate races better than he does...XD.    

  •  Wow, 4th Place! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Nir, abgin, Zack from the SFV

    I think I'll put this on my resume...

  •  Wow I'm shocked I came so close on the tiebreaker (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, Zack from the SFV

    just 3.21% off and in the top 30 overall on it!

    and ugh, I came so, so close to winning 1st place.  My penultimate prediction had Matheson winning, Renacci winning, Tierney winning, and Denham winning, but at the last minute I changed those 4 to the wrong result... The others I missed were Sean Patrick Maloney, Raul Ruiz, Scott Tipton, Mike Coffman, Keith Rothfus, Andy Barr, Dan Benishek, and Rodney Davis.

    Oh well, at least I nailed the presidential (332O by 4-5%) and gubernatorial and got all but one senate race (NV)

    NC-06/NC-04; -9.00, -8.41; progress through pragmatism

    by sawolf on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:36:31 AM PST

  •  Congratulations StephenCLE (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abgin, Zack from the SFV, Daman09

    Skimming, it looks like I barely made it into the top 100, well behind most DKE regulars. Nonetheless, I'm satisfied with 31/40, considering how badly I felt my House predictions at large turned out.

    (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", social anarchist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

    by Setsuna Mudo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:06:14 AM PST

  •  I am happy to place fifteenth (0+ / 0-)

       especially with so many entries. I didn't write down all my picks to compare with the results. I was wrong on FL-Pres, and I might have picked Shelley Berkley to win NV-Sen but 34 out of 40 is fine with me.

        My strategy was to be optimistic, but not too wildly optimistic. There's always a desire to predict what I would want to happen, not what is most likely to occur. Fortunately this was a year when things went rather well for the Democratic candidates, so I came out well. I am not Nostradamus, that is Mr. CLE, but I am pleased...

    Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 54, new CA-30

    by Zack from the SFV on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:31:33 AM PST

  •  Fun Contest! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV

    I got 26 right. That makes me want to prepare better for next cycle. Need to get into the heads of the smaller state insiders and resist the temptation to go with the BS "conventional wisdom".

    Having said that, the same crap is flying about again for the 2014 Senate races. According to the Villagers, the Democrats are dead in (no particular order) MT, SD, AR, AK, LA, ND and WV. Some of these arguably are tough states, but so were IN, MO, ND and MT this cycle.

    I say bring back Howard Dean and the 50 state strategy and really take it to the house. You have to believe the tea baggers will continue to push the Republicans rightward and nominate wingnuts of the Joe Miller/Sharron Angle variety.

    Never Surrender! Now if can just get our President to push progressive legislation,  we'd be in even better shape.

  •  Wow, I did really well! (0+ / 0-)

    After my complete failure in the 2010 predictions contest, I thought perhaps I wasn't the best elections prognosticator.

    I would have won too if I had gone with my gut about the Love/Matheson race.

    Guess I should have had a little more faith in myself!

    Swingnut since 2009, 21, Male, Democrat, CA-49 (home) CA-12 (college)

    by Daman09 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 02:42:16 PM PST

  •  Thanks for all your hard work! (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for taking the time to collate all of these entries.  I was quite pleased to get 29 races correct.  I also learned a lot about how I make my predictions.  After about 2 years of studying these races here, and both consciously and subconsciously ingesting everything there was to know about each respective race, I found that if I really listened to my gut instinct, it was correct. Also, for the most part, the ones I got wrong were due to my not following my gut.  

    Thanks again!

  •  Congrats to the winners (0+ / 0-)

    I scarcely have any recollection of my predictions, nor do I recall thinking to hard.

    But I think this was a fairly difficult contest.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 02:58:33 PM PST

  •  Yeah, I finished in 31 st Place (0+ / 0-)

    A real honor among Kosacks and Elections Swing State regulars.

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