The 2012 Elections were (generally) pretty great for Team Blue: we re-elected Barack Obama, picked up a few seats in both houses of Congress, and affirmed marriage equality/defeated anti-equality efforts in four states, among others. But, for one of you – the winner of the 2012 Daily Kos Elections Prediction Contest, that is, it's going to get even better. A whole ... Green's chocolate babka better!
To review, we asked you to pick a winner in the 40 races that Daily Kos Elections had rated as "Tossup" in the week prior to the election. (We moved one race, CT-Sen, away from Tossup and three races, KY-06, NY-01, and NY-24, to Tossup after we announced the contest.) As a tiebreaker, we also asked you to guess the percentage that each of the three major candidates – Democrat Cynthia Dill, Republican Charlie Summers, and Independent (Senator-elect) Angus King – would receive in the Maine Senate Race. The tiebreaker was scored using lowest absolute deviation, so no least-squares (ordinary or otherwise) or anything else fancy. (Sorry, you regression junkies!)
Collectively, our judgment was pretty good: in aggregate, the entries called 30 of the 40 races correctly. We were particularly confident (and correctly so) about Chris Murphy in CT-Sen and Tim Kaine in VA-Sen, with 98.6 percent and 97.4 percent of entrants predicting their respective victories. Though the margin in WA-Gov was close, the prediction race was not; 96.4 percent of people chose eventual victor, Dem Jay Inslee. Here is the full list of percentage of entries that called contest correctly:
The entries overall were pretty bullish on Dems, and the nastiest surprises were a trio of house races narrowly won by the Republican candidate – PA-12, OH-16, and IL-13. Only 12.5, 21.0, and 26.9 percent of entries called those correctly. The most "unexpected" pieces of good news, arguably, were Eric Swalwell's defeat of Pete Stark in the CA-15 Dem internecine (72.2 percent thought Stark would win), and Heidi Heitkamp's victory in ND-Sen (57.7 percent thought Republican Rick Berg would win).
Overall, the Maine Senate predictions were rather good as well. The median predictions were King 49.7, Summers 34.4, Dill 14.0, good for a deviation of 7.57. (mr hungry dude submitted the best tiebreaker entry, calling the race with only 1.11 points of deviation.)
The individual ranges for each candidate, though, varied widely – Dill from 3 to 72, Summers from 3 to 70, and King from 0 to 83. A few of you didn't quite follow the instructions about percentages, but worry not, I interpreted them to the best of my ability: usually, this meant replacing commas with decimal points (sorry, this ain't Europe!), and taking something like, for example, 0.52 to represent 52 percent.
I know we told you in the instructions that "you may not want your results to add perfectly to 100," but, man, some of you really took that advice to heart – entrants thought that between the three of them, Dill, Summers, and King would receive between 78 percent and uh...161 percent (?).
But enough of that math thing, to the babka!
dwb115, WisJohn, and StephenCLE each called a whopping 36 of the 40 races correctly. (I assure you, that is substantially better than your Daily Kos Elections team did.)
Of the three, StephenCLE had the best tiebreaker score, at 7.19. (WisJohn's tiebreak score was 10.41, and dwb115's 14.49.) Stephen, please come on down (by which I mean PM David Nir) – he'll get you set up with your babka!
The full list of results is available here. (If you submitted multiple entries, I thought about disqualifying you, but instead, I took the latest entry you submitted.)
Thanks again to everyone who participated in the 2012 Daily Kos Elections Contest, and congratulations to the winner!
8:21 AM PT: I forgot to mention: we received about 800 entries, but from 785 unique (non-Daily Kos staff) entrants.