|1. How many Iowans will participate in the Republican caucuses?
According to the Iowa GOP, attendance was 121,503 this year, a little higher than the 2008 participation of 119,188 Iowans.
Winner for this question: Bleeding Heartland user albert, who guessed 120,000. Not far behind was Jahiegel, who guessed a very specific 118,674. Third place goes to jdeeth, who guessed 124,500.
2. How many Iowans will participate in the Democratic caucuses?
The Iowa Democratic Party released a statement on January 3 claiming "more than 25,000" people attended Democratic precinct caucuses. A few county Democratic parties released attendance levels, but the IDP refused to provide county-level or even Congressional district-level attendance numbers to me, let alone caucus site attendance.
Although that estimate can't be verified, I'm calling this question for Bleeding Heartland user keith nichols, who submitted the lowest guess of 34,000. It was a tie for second between jdeeth and RF, who both guessed 37,000. Honorable mention to yorktownbc, who guessed 38,452 voters.
3. What percentage of the vote will the winning Republican receive? Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney tied for 25 percent.
As a group, we did well on this question--no one was far off. Bleeding Heartland users tietack, bowmama and I tied with predictions of 25 percent, but several others guessed 26 percent, 24 percent or 23 percent.
4. In what order will the Republican presidential candidates finish (most votes to least votes)?
Tietack, bowmama and I guessed the six main candidates in the right order. Honorable mention goes to prodigalson and RF, who reversed Romney and Santorum but got everyone else in the right order. Given the tiny margin between Romney and Santorum, they were almost correct.
5. What percentage of the 1,200 state delegate equivalents on the Democratic side will go to "uncommitted" rather than to President Barack Obama?
Answer: 1.5 percent. The winner is albert, who guessed 1 percent. I guessed zero percent, Jahiegel and jdeeth both guessed 3 percent.
Tiebreaker: How many of Iowa's 99 counties will the overall winner of the GOP caucuses carry? Santorum won a plurality in 63 counties. Bleeding Heartland user tietack guessed 60 counties, RF guessed 54, bowmama 74.
If Romney had gotten a few dozen more votes, he would have carried Iowa while winning only 17 counties. In that case ModerateIADem's guess of 12 counties would have been the closest, followed by albert (25) and keith nichols (27).
Congratulations to Bleeding Heartland user tietack, who submitted the best guesses on three of the above questions, including the tiebreaker. Albert, bowmama and I tied for second place, with the closest answers on two questions.
Stay tuned for the 2012 Iowa primary election prediction contest this June. Almost all the action will be on the Republican side, with primary contests in Iowa's first and second Congressional districts and a bunch of competitive Iowa House races. I'm most curious to see who will win the Chuck Grassley/Bruce Rastetter proxy war between Pat Grassley and Annette Sweeney in the new Iowa House district 50.