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Babka

We're wrapping up another year here at Daily Kos Elections, which means one of you lucky folks—the winner of this year's Daily Kos Elections Prediction Contest—is getting one of these puppies pictured at right.*

*Note: not actually a puppy, just a chocolate babka. (...which is, arguably, better than a puppy.)

To review, this year's contest had three rounds:

• Part 1, 3 points: we set a "line" for three big-ticket contests and asked if the margin would be under or over that line.
• Part 2, 6 points: we asked you to pick the winner in 6 races across the country where the outcome was not so clear.
• Part 3, 6 points: We asked you for how many GOP-held seats Virginia Democrats would pick up in the House of Delegates.

As we have typically done, we also included a tiebreaker asking you to guess vote percentages—this time in VA-Gov.

We received 400 valid entries exactly: I scored the last entry that you submitted before the deadline (6pm EST on Election Day) if you submitted multiple ones. A few of you submitted entries after the deadline (including one on December 17th), which I did not count.

Continuing a pattern from past years in the pick-'ems, closeness of race wasn't strongly correlated with our collective confidence in the outcome: even though the race went to a recount, almost 90% of people predicted (correctly) that Democrat Mark Herring would win the VA-AG contest. On the flipside, entries were fairly split on the Nassau County, NY Executive race, even though incumbent GOPer Ed Mangano won re-election by 17 points. 125 of you got the full 3 points from Part 1, and 18 of you got the full 6 points from Part 2 (8 of you ran the table, getting the full 9 points from Parts 1 and 2 combined).

Chart of Correct Entries by Question
The Virginia House was a bit of a disappointment for Democrats, who did not gain as many seats as ultimately expected. The median and mode entry was a gain of 8, as compared to an actual pickup of 2. The distribution of guesses was as follows:
Distribution of Part 3 Entries
As to the tiebreaker: we've never adhered to that "it-must-add-to-100-percent" orthodoxy, but 19 of you took some rather, er ... sizable liberties, and entered percentages summing to greater than 100 percent. Misplaced expectations factored in here as well, with the average tiebreaker entry overstating Terry McAuliffe's final margin (just as the polling did).

No one ultimately got a perfect score (your Daily Kos Elections team definitely did not ...), but two of you came pretty darn close: BK in the HV and UKDemocrat each got 14 of 15. BK's only miss was being one off in the VA House count, and UKDemocrat's only miss was calling WA SD-26 for Democrat Nathan Schlicher instead of Republican Jan Angel.

BK in the HV had the better tiebreaker score, however, meaning he or she is this year's winner! Please message David Nir, who will get you hooked up with your babka!

The full list of results, for the truly curious, is available here. Congratulations, and thanks again to everyone who participated in this year's contest.

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