2010 election prediction contest results

Vote-counting and recounting ended in Iowa last week, and although one U.S. House race remains unresolved, I'm going ahead with the results from this year's Bleeding Heartland election prediction contest.

Winners for each of the 20 questions are after the jump.

1. How many Iowans will cast ballots in this year's general election?

The Secretary of State's office announced Monday that 1,133,434 Iowa voters cast ballots in the general election.

Bleeding Heartland user thomasjschultz had the closest guess on total turnout: 1,110,000. natewithglasses was second (1,100,393), barely edging out Johannes (1,178,838).

2. What percentage of the vote will Chet Culver and Terry Branstad receive in the governor's race?

The votes put Branstad just below 53 percent and Culver just over 43 percent.

trhawk nailed this one: Branstad 53, Culver 43. There was a tie for second place between AGreatAmerican (Branstad 54, Culver 43) and me (Branstad 53, Culver 44).

3. Which minor-party candidate will receive more votes for governor: Libertarian Eric Cooper or Iowa Party candidate Jonathan Narcisse?

Narcisse did better, with about 1.8 percent of the vote. Bleeding Heartland users natewithglasses, teapartyactivist, Johannes, trhawk and American007 all answered this question correctly.

4. What percentage of the vote will Chuck Grassley and Roxanne Conlin receive in the U.S. Senate race?

Result: Grassley 64 percent, Conlin 33 percent.

Everyone guessed that Grassley would win. Johannes wins on this question with his prediction of Grassley 64, Conlin 34. I was a close second (Grassley 64 Conlin 35), followed by AGreatAmerican (Grassley 63, Conlin 36).

5. What percentage of the vote will Bruce Braley and Ben Lange receive in the first Congressional district?

Result: Braley 49.5 percent, Lange 47.5 percent.

As a group, we did poorly on this question. Most of us guessed that Braley would win 54 to 55 percent of the vote. AGreatAmerican and teapartyactivist correctly put Braley at 49 percent but wrongly predicted Lange would win with 51 percent.

Johannes wins by guessing Braley 52, Lange 48. trhawk is second: Braley 53, Lange 47.

6. What percentage of the vote will Dave Loebsack and Mariannette Miller-Meeks receive in the second Congressional district?

Result: Loebsack 51 percent, Miller-Meeks 46 percent.

No one guessed Loebsack's margin of victory correctly, but three Bleeding Heartland users were three points off the result: ModerateIADem guessed Loebsack would win by 52 percent to 48 percent, natewithglasses had Loebsack 53, Miller-Meeks 47, and I predicted Loebsack 51, Miller-Meeks 49.

7. What percentage of the vote will Leonard Boswell and Brad Zaun receive in the third Congressional district?

Result: Boswell 50.7 percent, Zaun 46.5 percent

We all correctly predicted that Boswell would win this race. The best guess was ModerateIADem's: Boswell 51, Zaun 49, followed by American007 was second (Boswell 50, Zaun 48). In a three-way tie for third, trhawk guessed Boswell 51, Zaun 49 while both AGreatAmerican and Johannes had Boswell winning 54-46.

8. What percentage of the vote will Tom Latham and Bill Maske receive in the fourth Congressional district?

Result: Latham 65.6 percent, Maske 32 percent.

Again, we all predicted the winner correctly.

I'm calling this one a tie between AGreatAmerican (Latham 65, Maske 35) and Johannes (Latham 64, Maske 34). trhawk wasn't far behind with Latham winning 64-36.

9. What percentage of the vote will Steve King and Matt Campbell receive in the fifth Congressional district?

Result: King 65.7 percent, Campbell 32.3 percent.

We all got the winner right, and almost all of us guessed that King would clear the 60 percent threshold. The best guess was American007's: King 65, Campbell 32. frogmanjim was next-best with King 63, Campbell 35, and I had King winning 63-36.

10. How many Democrats and Republicans will be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives?

A recount is ongoing in New York's first Congressional district, and the Democrat leads by a few hundred votes. If he is the winner, the chamber will have 242 Republicans and 193 Democrats. If the Republican pulls off an upset, it would be 243-192. That wouldn't affect our contest.

The winner on this question is trhawk, who guessed 238 Republicans and 197 Democrats. Johannes was next-best (235 Republicans, 200 Democrats), and I was in third place (234 Republicans, 201 Democrats).

11. How many Democrats and Republicans will be elected to the U.S. Senate?

Result: 53 Democrats (including two independents who caucus with Democrats) and 47 Republicans.

AGreatAmerican, natewithglasses, ModerateIADem and I all got this question exactly right.

12. How many Democrats and Republicans will be elected to the Iowa House?

Result: 60 Republicans, 40 Democrats

Many of us predicted that Republicans would take the Iowa House, but no one saw such a big wave coming. The winner on this question was thomasjschultz, who guessed the chamber would have 55 Republicans and 45 Democrats. In second place was teapartyactivist: 54 Republicans, 46 Democrats. Three-way tie for third between trhawk, Johannes and AGreatAmerican, who all guessed 53 Republicans, 47 Democrats.

13. How many Democrats and Republicans will be elected to the Iowa Senate?

Result: 26 Democrats, 24 Republicans.

Johannes and trhawk nailed it. In third place, a three-way tie: AGreatAmerican, thomasjschultz and teapartyactivist all guessed 27 Democrats, 23 Republicans.  

14. What percentage of the vote will Tom Miller and Brenna Findley receive in the attorney general race?

Result: Miller 55.5 percent, Findley 44.4 percent.

I won on this question by guessing Miller 57 percent, Findley 43 percent. American007 was next-best: Miller 53, Findley 47. ModerateIADem and natewithglasses tied for third: Miller 52, Findley 48.

15. What percentage of the vote will Michael Mauro and Matt Schultz receive in the secretary of state race?

Result: Schultz 49.8 percent, Mauro 47 percent.

As a group, we did poorly on this question. Almost all of us predicted Mauro would be re-elected. teapartyactivist is winner by default, having predicted a virtual tie: Schultz 49, Mauro 49.

16. What percentage of the vote will Michael Fitzgerald and Dave Jamison receive in the state treasurer race?

Result: Fitzgerald 53 percent, Jamison 47 percent.

I guessed exactly that result. A group of people tied for second place on this question: AGreatAmerican (Fitzgerald 55, Jamison 45) and

teapartyactivist, Johannes, ModerateIADem and frogmanjim, who all predicted Fitzgerald 51, Jamison 49.

17. What percentage of the vote will Bill Northey and Francis Thicke receive in the secretary of agriculture race?

Result: Northey just under 63 percent, Thicke 37 percent.

We all predicted Northey would be re-elected. There was a tie for best guess between AGreatAmerican (Northey 62, Thicke 38) and trhawk (Northey 64, Thicke 36). Johannes gets third place on this question with Northey 60, Thicke 39.

18. What percentage of the vote will David Vaudt and Jon Murphy receive in the state auditor race?

Result: Vaudt 56.4 percent, Murphy 43.5 percent.

We all expected Vaudt to be re-elected, but most of us overestimated his share of the vote. Johannes was right on the money: Vaudt 56, Murphy 43, and ModerateIADem was a close second (Vaudt 57, Murphy 43). The next-best guess was frogmanjim's: Vaudt 53, Murphy 46.

19. What percentage of "yes" votes on retention will Supreme Court Justices Marsha Ternus, Michael Streit and David Baker receive? (you do not have to guess the same number for all three judges)

Results: Ternus 45 percent, Streit 45.6 percent, Baker 45.9 percent.

Most people guessed the judges would be retained. The winner is trhawk, who predicted 45 percent yes votes for Ternus and 49 percent for Streit and Baker. I had Ternus winning 42 percent, Streit and Baker 48 percent. American007 and teapartyactivist both had Ternus at 48 percent yes, but they expected the other two judges to be above 50 percent.

20. What percentage of "yes" votes will there be on the ballot measure relating to a constitutional convention?

Result: just under 33 percent of Iowans voted to call a constitutional convention.

We all overestimated support for calling the convention. I had the closest guess at 39 percent yes votes, followed by natewithglasses, American007 and teapartyactivist, who all predicted 41 percent yes votes.

Contrary to Bleeding Heartland's 2008 contest and the contest on this year's primary election, we have no obvious winner. I should have developed a better methodology for assigning weight to first, second or third-place results on each question.

Johannes was right about Narcisse beating Cooper and was among the top three guessers for 11 other questions, proving that you can have an excellent grasp of Iowa politics while following the news from Germany.

I was among the top three for 10 questions. AGreatAmerican and trhawk finished in the top three for nine questions each, but I'm giving trhawk third place overall because trhawk also was right about Narcisse and had two more first-place guesses than AGreatAmerican.

Thanks to all who competed. I promise to work out a more precise scoring system ahead of the next Bleeding Heartland election prediction contest.

  • Well done

    Congrats to all the winners.  I guess I thought there would be more Branstad voters still retaining the judges and I didn't think his coatails would be as strong as they may have been.

    Fun stuff and thank you dmd for holding the contest.

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