A few days ago, the final recounts ended in Iowa legislative races, and the last Congressional campaign was resolved. It's time to reveal the winner of Bleeding Heartland's general election prediction contest.
You can view all the contest entries in this comment thread.
1. How many Iowans will cast ballots in the 2012 general election? For reference, 1,528,715 Iowans voted in the 2008 general election, and 1,497,741 Iowans voted in the 2004 general election.
The final statewide statistical report won't be available until January, but unofficial results on the Iowa Secretary of State's website show that 1,582,134 Iowans cast ballots for president.
Bleeding Heartland user MrScarletW was closest with a guess of 1,600,000, followed by John Deeth, who guessed 1,555,555, and natewithglasses, who guessed 1,550,000.
2. How many electoral votes will Barack Obama and Mitt Romney win?
Result: 332 votes for Obama, 206 for Romney.
Bleeding Heartland user rossldaniels was right on the money. He should have attempted to answer the other contest questions!
Bleeding Heartland user sixweekssixvotes guessed Obama 305, Romney 233. It was a tie for third place with Deeth and Johannes both guessing Obama 303, Romney 235.
3. What percentage of the national popular vote will Barack Obama and Mitt Romney receive?
Vote counts continue to be updated in some states. At this writing, according to the spreadsheet maintained by David Wasserman, Obama received 50.93 percent of the popular vote, Romney 47.33 percent.
Most of us correctly predicted that Obama would win the popular vote. Deeth had the best guess, 51 percent Obama, 48 percent Romney. Pretzelgraf guessed Obama by a 51-49 margin. Johannes had Obama at 50.6 percent, Romney 48.4 percent.
4. What percentage of the vote will Obama and Romney win in Iowa?
Result: Obama 51.99 percent, Romney 46.18 percent.
ModerateIADem had Obama 52, Romney 47 in Iowa. Second place on this question goes to sixweekssixvotes, who guessed Obama 51.8 percent, Romney 47.1 percent. Deeth had Obama winning by 52 percent to 47.5 percent, natewithglasses had Obama 53, Romney 46.
5. What percentage of the vote will Bruce Braley and Ben Lange receive in Iowa's first Congressional district?
Result: Braley 56.91 percent, Lange 41.57 percent.
We all had Braley winning this election. ModerateIADem had Braley 57, Lange 43. Bleeding Heartland users lolitsadam and sixweekssixvotes both predicted a 56 percent to 43 percent margin.
6. What percentage of the vote will Dave Loebsack and John Archer receive in IA-02?
Result: Loebsack 55.57 percent, Archer 42.48 percent.
We all had Loebsack winning this election. Pretzelgraf had Loebsack 56 percent, Archer 44 percent. Second-best on this question was sixweekssixvotes, with Loebsack 55, Archer 44. I predicted Loebsack would win 55-45 (forgot to account for the third-party candidate on the ballot).
7. What percentage of the vote will Leonard Boswell and Tom Latham receive in IA-03?
Result: Latham 52.22 percent, Boswell 43.59 percent.
Most of us thought Latham would win, but by a much narrower margin. Deeth had Latham winning big by 54 percent to 45 percent. Johannes had Latham winning 52-47, and RF had Latham winning 53-47.
8. What percentage of the vote will Steve King and Christie Vilsack receive in IA-04?
Result: King 52.94 percent, Vilsack 44.85 percent.
I had the closest guess on this question: 54 percent King, 46 percent Vilsack. Bleeding Heartland users lolitsadam and natewithglasses both had King winning 53-47.
9. How many seats will the Democrats and Republicans win in the Iowa House next Tuesday? Currently there are 60 Republicans and 40 Democrats.
Result: 53 Republicans, 47 Democrats.
We all predicted Republicans would keep control of the Iowa House, but no one was exactly right on this question. Both natewithglasses and lolitsadam had 54 Republicans, 46 Democrats. Several of us had a GOP majority at 55-45.
10. How many seats will the Democrats and Republicans win in the Iowa Senate next Tuesday? Currently there are 26 Democrats and 24 Republicans, but your answer should add up to 49, because Senate district 22 will not be decided until a December 11 special election.
Result: 26 Democrats and 23 Republicans.
Pretzelgraf, MrScarletW, Deeth, and sixweekssixvotes all predicted Democrats would end up with 26 Iowa Senate seats.
If John Beard had received a couple dozen more votes in Senate district 28, ModerateIADem would have been right on the money at 27 Democrats, 22 Republicans.
11. Which Congressional race in Iowa will be the closest (in terms of percentage of vote difference between winner and loser)?
Result: IA-04, where the margin between King and Vilsack was 8.09 percent. Most of us expected IA-03 to be the closest race, but Latham finished 8.63 percent of the vote ahead of Boswell.
Johannes, Deeth and MrScarletW all called IA-04 as the closest Iowa Congressional race.
12. Which Iowa House or Senate race will be the closest (in terms of percentage of vote difference between winner and loser)?
Result: Senate district 28, where Republican Mike Breitbach beat Democrat John Beard by fewer than 25 votes out of about 29,700 cast (following a recount).
No one got this right. The next-closest Senate race was Wilhelm/Bartz in Senate district 26, which no one guessed. Several Iowa House races were decided by fewer than 100 votes, but no one guessed those either.
13. What percentage of yes and no retention votes will Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins receive? For reference, in 2010 the "no" share of the vote was 55 percent for Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, 54.4 percent for Justice Michael Streit, and 54.2 percent for Justice David Baker.
Result: 54.54 percent yes on Wiggins, 45.46 percent No Wiggins.
Pretzelgraf did best on this question: 55 percent yes, 45 percent no. Bleeding Heartland users RF, MrScarletW, and lolitsadam all had Wiggins retained by a 52-48 margin.
14. Nationally, which U.S. Senate race will be decided by the narrowest margin (in terms of percentage of the vote difference, not raw votes)?
Result: North Dakota, where Democrat Heidi Heitkamp upset Republican Rick Berg by 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.
No one answered this question correctly. There were a lot of tossup Senate races down the home stretch in 2012.
15. In the presidential race, which state will be decided by the narrowest margin (again, in terms of percentage of the vote)?
Result: Florida. The latest count shows Obama winning that state by 50.01 percent to 49.13 percent. I was surprised to see that Florida is the only state either candidate won by a margin of less than 1 percent.
ModerateIADem, Deeth, and sixweekssixvotes all answered this question correctly.
16. How many Democrats and Republicans will be in the U.S. House starting January 2013? (435 total) Currently there are 240 Republicans, 190 Democrats, and five vacancies.
Result: 234 Republicans, 201 Democrats.
As a group, we did well on this question, with most of us not too far off the final numbers. But only lolitsadam answered this question exactly right.
Johannes, sixweekssixvotes, and Pretzelgraf all predicted that Republicans would end up with 235 U.S. House seats.
17. How many Democrats and Republicans will be in the U.S. Senate starting January 2013? (100 total) For this question, I am counting independents who caucus with Democrats as Democrats. Currently there are 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans.
Result: 55 Democrats, 45 Republicans.
Only sixweekssixvotes answered this question correctly. Both Johannes and MrScarletW predicted 54 Democrats and 46 Republicans.
18. Tie-breaker question: How many of Iowa's 99 counties will Obama and Romney carry? In 2008, McCain carried 46 counties, Obama 53 (view map here). The latest voter registration totals for all 99 counties are here.
Result: Romney 61 counties, Obama 38 (map and list here).
I was the closest here, guessing that Romney would win 60 Iowa counties to 39 for Obama. Johannes and lolitsadam both predicted 59 counties for Romney, 40 for Obama.
But the tie-breaker was unnecessary, since Deeth had the most accurate guess on five questions and finished either second or third on three other questions. He wins this go around, joining ModerateIADem (twice), American007, Johannes, and tietack as Bleeding Heartland election prediction contest champions.