Bleeding Heartland election prediction contest results

Swing State Project finally got around to posting the results from its election prediction contest, which reminded me that I need to do the same. For weeks I’d been waiting for the results of recounts and runoffs in Iowa and national races. Although the results of the Minnesota Senate race may still be contested in court, it appears very likely that Al Franken will be the new junior senator from that state.

Swing State Project disqualified all entries that did not include answers to every question, but I wasn’t so strict here. You can view everyone’s predictions in this thread.

1. What percentage of the national popular vote with Barack Obama and John McCain receive?

Populista hit that one almost exactly with a prediction of Obama 52.9, McCain 46.0. Very close behind was jdunph1 with a prediction of Obama 53.6 percent, McCain – 45.9 percent.

2. How many electoral votes will Obama and McCain win?

American007 made the best guess, with 367 electoral votes for Obama and 171 for McCain. In second place was oregoniowan, who guessed that Obama would win 356 electoral votes. (Obama actually won 365.)

3. What percentage of the vote will Obama and McCain win in Iowa?

American007 nailed it with a prediction of Obama 54, McCain 45. jackwilliamr and oregoniowan tied for second place; both predicted Obama 54, McCain 44.

4. What percentage of the vote will Bruce Braley and Dave Hartsuch receive in the 1st district?

jackwilliamr predicted Braley 62, Hartsuch 37, which was closest to the final 64-36 result. I placed second by predicting Braley 62, Hartsuch 38.

5. What percentage of the vote will Dave Loebsack and Mariannette Miller-Meeks receive in the 2nd district?

My prediction of Loebsack 57, Miller-Meeks 40 was closest to the final 57-39 result. secondtonone had the next-best prediction of Loebsack 55, Miller-Meeks 44.

6. What percentage of the vote will Leonard Boswell and Kim Schmett receive in the 3rd district?

As a group, we did well on this question, with almost everyone getting pretty close to Boswell’s vote share (most guesses put him in the 54 to 58 percent range).

American007’s guess of Boswell 56, Schmett 43 was closest to the final 56-42 result. Populista was also close with Boswell 57 Schmett 43.

7. What percentage of the vote will Tom Latham and Becky Greenwald receive in the 4th district?

As a group, we did badly on this question, with no one predicting that Latham would crack 60 percent.

Bill Spencer predicted Latham 58, Greenwald 42, which was closest to the final 61-39 margin. Populista and American007 both thought Latham would win 53 percent of the vote, which was the next-closest guess.

8. What percentage of the vote will Steve King and Rob Hubler receive in the 5th district?

Again, no one here predicted King would crack 60 percent. Bill Spencer had the best guess of King 58, Hubler 42 (the final result was 60-37). American007 had the next-closest prediction of King 56, Hubler 43.

9. How many seats will the Democrats and Republicans have in the Iowa House after the election (currently 53-47 Dem)?

American007 and I were right on the nose, predicting a 56-44 Democratic majority in the Iowa House. There was a tie for second place: lorih predicted a 57-43 advantage for Democrats, while Populista predicted a 55-45 edge.

10. How many seats will the Democrats and Republicans have in the Iowa Senate after the election (currently 30-20 Dem)?

There was a four-way tie for first place, with secondtonone, Populista, oregoniowan and American007 all correctly predicting that there would be 32 Democrats and 18 Republicans in the new Iowa Senate. Bill Spencer and I both guessed that Democrats would end up with a 33-17 advantage in the upper chamber.

11. Which Congressional race in Iowa will be the closest (in terms of percentage of vote difference between winner and loser)?

Although most of us guessed that Boswell would finish in the mid-50s, no one correctly predicted that the Boswell-Schmett contest would be the closest Congressional race in Iowa. Most of us guessed Greenwald-Latham, two people predicted Loebsack v. Miller-Meeks, and two people predicted King v. Hubler.

12. Which Iowa House or Senate race will be the closest (in terms of percentage of vote difference between winner and loser)?

Iowa had a lot of close statehouse races this year. The two decided by the narrowest margin were Jeff Danielson’s defeat of Walt Rogers in Senate district 10 and Renee Schulte’s defeat of Art Staed in House district 37 (both decided by less than 0.1 percent of the vote). No one guessed either of those races as the answer to this question.

I’m giving the win on this one to American007, who guessed Larry Marek and Jarad Klein’s race in House district 89. That was among the close races; I think it was decided by the seventh-smallest margin, just over 1 percent.

13. Nationally, which U.S. Senate race will be decided by the narrowest margin (in terms of percentage of the vote difference, not raw votes)?

There was a five-way tie on this question, with audiored, lorih, American007, Populista and oregoniowan all correctly predicting that the Minnesota Senate race would be the closest. Franken looks like he will win by less than 0.01 percent of the vote, depending on how many improperly rejected absentee ballots are counted.

14. In the presidential race, which state will be decided by the narrowest margin (again, in terms of percentage of the vote)?

We had a three-way tie for first here, with lorih, Populista and jackwilliamr all predicting that Missouri would be the closest state in the presidential race. McCain won there by a little over 0.1 percent of the vote.

The next-closest state was North Carolina, which was my guess on this question.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. Taking all the results into account, it’s clear that American007 is this year’s champion of election predictions at Bleeding Heartland.

I can’t promise a chocolate babka, which the Swing State Project team is sending to the winner of their contest, but I would be happy to treat American007 to lunch or coffee anywhere in the Des Moines area at a mutually convenient time.

  • Dumb Luck

    Considering how badly I whiffed some of my other predictions (1-15 on cabinet picks, slightly better than the Detroit Lions), I can’t claim anything other than dumb luck.

    And since I’m not exactly sure what a babka is, I’ll be more than content to keep that coffee invitation in mind the next time I pass through Des Moines. 🙂

  • What If I Would Have Won?


    What if I would have won?  Would you have gotten me a Chocolate Babka?

    I know I am not your favorite person on this blog beause I am not as liberal as you.

    • I had a feeling you would ask that

      I’m flattered. I don’t know of any source for chocolate babka in Iowa.

      I was raised by a Republican and have nothing against Republicans or moderate/conservative commenters, as long as they respect site guidelines and don’t misrepresent their views.

    • Thats it Bill!

      Its not because you lie, or are rude, or have a knack for lowering the conversation below the level of intelligent discussion everytime your fingers hit the keyboard, no Bill, it is because you are not liberal…that’s why people don’t like you.

      Stay classy Bill 🙂

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