What did you get wrong? What did you get right?

We’ve had ten days to decompress from the election. It’s time for a little self-promotion and self-criticism.

What did you predict accurately during the past presidential campaign, and what did you get completely wrong?

The ground rules for this thread are as follows:

1. This is about your own forecasting skills. Do not post a comment solely to mock someone else’s idiocy.

2. You are not allowed to boast about something you got right without owning up to at least one thing you got wrong.

3. For maximum bragging rights, include a link to a comment or diary containing your accurate prediction. Links are not required, though.

I’ll get the ball rolling. Here are some of the more significant things I got wrong during the presidential campaign that just ended.

I thought that since John Edwards had been in the spotlight for years, the Republicans would probably not be able to spring an “October surprise” on us if he were the Democratic nominee. Oops.

In 2006 I thought Hillary’s strong poll numbers among Democrats were

inflated by the fact that she has a lot of name recognition. I think once the campaign begins, her numbers will sink like Lieberman’s did in 2003.

Then when her poll numbers held up in most states throughout 2007, I thought Hillary’s coalition would collapse if she lost a few early primaries. Um, not quite.

I thought Barack Obama would fail to be viable in a lot of Iowa precincts dominated by voters over age 50.

I thought Obama had zero chance of beating John McCain in Florida.

Here are a few things I got right:

I consistently predicted that Hillary would finish no better than third in the Iowa caucuses. For that I was sometimes ridiculed in MyDD comment threads during the summer and fall of 2007.

I knew right away that choosing Sarah Palin was McCain’s gift to Democrats on his own birthday, because it undercut his best argument against Obama: lack of experience.

I immediately sensed that letting the Obama campaign take over the GOTV effort in Iowa might lead to a convincing victory for Obama here without maximizing the gains for our down-ticket candidates. In fact, Iowa Democrats did lose a number of statehouse races we should have won last week.

By the way, please consider helping Bleeding Heartland analyze what went wrong and what went right for Democrats in some of the state House and Senate races.

  • Good questions here...

    I was right about Huckabee being able to gain traction and connect with voters, despite a lack of money.  His communications skills still amaze me.

    I was wrong, though, about endorsements for Huckabee coming once he got face time.  Those endorsements never came.  (Excuse me, actually, Dobson’s endorsement came the day before everything tanked.)

    I was right about Thompson’s not actually being in it to win it.

    I was right about Romney not being able to excite/unite the party.

    I was wrong in thinking that Republicans would do anything (and thus, jump behind Huckabee) to not have a middle-of-the-road RINO for their presidential candidate.

    I was wrong about Palin electrifying the religious conservatives.  Seems many just can’t decide what to do with a woman.

    I was right (in my private predictions to Doug) about McCain not exciting anyone and losing.

    I was right the morning after when I woke up and guessed the point spread of Obama’s win… but only Doug can verify this.  

    All of the other predictions could be (I think) verified at least generally by what I wrote at Making Home.  At present, I don’t have time to go back and link… but you know most of these things.

    Fun to think back through it all.  I remember I completely got the 2000 election wrong.  I thought Bush would win by a huge margin.  Live and learn.  🙂

  • As the Fonz said, I was wrrrr.

    Biggest thing I had right: I actally caucused for the winner, for the first time ever unless you count the Bill Clinton re-elect. My jinx (Hart, Jackson, Harkin, Bradley, Dean) is broken.

    My biggest thing wrong? Fall 2007 headlines: “Sun Setting On The Straight Talk Express” and “McCain’s Not Dead But neither Was Terry Schiavo.” Of course, EVERYONE had that wrong.

    At one point I had Ron Paul pegged for second in Iowa. We all learned that the Paulistas made noise out of proportion to actual numbers.

    I was close on the Chris Reed percentage and got that his appeal was that he was Not Tom Harkin.

    I saw Mariannette Miller-Meeks coming in the primary and correctly saw that Peter Teahen was weak with the GOP base. I also refused to buy the GOP line that she really really had a shot against Loebsack.

    I ignored the wishful thinking and got that Rob Hubler didn’t have a chance.

    I was convinced until very, very late that the I Want A Woman President Before I Die vote would get Hillary an Iowa win.

    I correctly saw that the Democratic nomination would come down to Hillary vs. Not Hillary, and later that at the convention level, the Edwards vote would move en masse to Obama.

    I called Montana for Obama, and was close, but I was waaay off on Louisiana.

    Frank Best over Tom Sands in House 89. But I got Larry Marek right.

    “Obama needs a non-Hillary woman for VP.”

    “Biden will make a half a dozen or so verbal gaffes….” (right) “that will dominate about one news cycle each” (wrong.) There was just too much good Palin stuff to even notice Biden.

    The only person who saw Palin coming was Douglas Burns at I.I.

  • oops

    Best was House 87. Marek was 89.

  • Let's see

    I was wrong in thinking that Chris Dodd could break out of the pack.  But I knew that Obama would win the caucus when, about a week before the caucus, an Obama precinct captain told me she had over 400 committed names.

    I was way right in predicting that Virginia would go for Obama.

    I liked Larry Marek’s TV ad, and I thought he would win.

    • would you consider writing a diary

      on the Marek/Klein race, discussing the themes both candidates raised in ads or direct mail, and looking at the precinct results to see how Marek won that Republican-leaning district?

      I would also be interested to know the total number of votes for Obama and McCain in the district, as well as the total number of votes for Marek and Klein in the district.  

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