The 2010 SSP Election Prediction Contest

As usual, SSP is offering our annual election prediction contest!

Winners, as always, get some delicious delicious Green’s Babka, courtesy of Mr. NYC himself! To get the deliciousness though, you’ll have to submit your predictions on these 9 races:

  • Governors Races: Connecticut, Ohio, and Oregon

  • Senate Races: Colorado, Nevada, and Wisconsin

  • House Races: FL-25, PA-07, and VA-11

Here, just pick the winner and margin of victory, feel free to go to as many significant figures as you’d like.

…but of course, things are never this easy. There are two curveballs here, where you’ll have to say percentages for each of the candidates:

  • MN-Gov: Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer, and Tom Horner

  • AK-Sen: Scott McAdams, Joe Miller, and Lisa Murkowski

To be babka-eligible, enter your guesses into our online form. No reading comprehension = no babka!

You’ll have to have created your SSP account before midnight EDT though. If you haven’t, you can still register and submit an entry for bragging rights, and the option to get more babka in the future!

Also, feel free to share your predictions on these races (and any others!) in this thread, but be aware that people may be reading your predictions for inspiration!

Contest closes 6pm EDT today.

Why 6pm? Well, if you look at our handy little map, it’s when first polls close!

Election 2009 Predictions Contest: Results!

We’ve been patiently waiting for the New York State Board of Elections to certify the results of the NY-23 special election so that we could name the winners of our 2009 predictions contest. Well, the numbers are finally in, so here we are! But first, thanks as always to everyone who participated. We received 110 valid entries, which is about as many as we had in 2008. Not bad for an off-year election!

If you are listed as a winner, send me an email and I will send you a super-delicious Green’s babka posthaste. Without further ado:

Congratulations to all the winners! If you’d like to find out how you did, please click here. The average score was 29. KainIIIC, Tiger in Blue Denver, and overall winner Zeitgeist9000 nailed NY-23 exactly (average error: 7). No one got NJ-Gov on the nose, though GoodWellOK and third-place finisher pinhickwv were off by just one point (average error: 9). Six folks got VA-Gov (second-place finisher andyroo312, brownsox, gabjoh, GOPVOTER, PropJoe & Zeitgeist9000, once again), while seven got ME-Init (bennytoothpick, David Kowalski, DGM

GoodWellOK, Lois, Mark & stevenaxelrod). (Average errors were 5 and 7, respectively.) Also, only one person correctly picked the victors of all four races. NJCentrist rightly named Owens, Christie, McDonnell and “Yes” as the winners of the four big 2009 races. Nice going!

In any event, props once again to our winners, and thanks once more to all who participated. If you didn’t win this time, have no fear – one thing I can predict is that there will be more babka in the very near future!

Election 2009 Predictions Contest

Let’s get ready to rumble! Swing State Project is offering up its usual grand prize — delicious chocolate babka, courtesy of DavidNYC — for the swingnut who comes closest to picking the outcomes of the four big elections tomorrow. We’ll need you to give the percentages for each option in each of the following races; just post them in the comments:

NY-23 (Owens, Scozzafava, and Hoffman) (and yes, we know Scozzafava is officially out, but you still need to guess what percentage of people still vote for her!)

NJ-Gov (Corzine, Christie, and Daggett)

VA-Gov (Deeds and McDonnell)

Maine Question 1: (yes and no)

The person with the net closest answers wins. Of course, there’s lots more going on tomorrow, so feel free to offer your predictions on CA-10, Washington’s R-71, New York mayor, Boston mayor, Atlanta mayor, Charlotte mayor, or anything else your heart desires — you just won’t get extra credit for it. The contest closes at 7 pm Eastern/4 pm Pacific tomorrow, as Virginia’s polls close.

UPDATE (7pm, 11/3): The contest is now closed!

VA-Gov Predictions Contest: A Winner Is You!

First off, as always, thanks to everyone who participated in the Swing State Project’s VA-Gov Dem primary predictions contest. Fifty-seven folks submitted guesses, and what’s particularly awesome is that the skunkworks down at SSP Labs shows we have a flat-out tie for first place! Congratulations to RedefiningForm and stevenaxelrod, who both had winning scores of just four points – you each get half a loaf! Just kidding… send me an email and a super-mega-delicious Green’s babka will be on its way to each of you shortly.

The actual final results were Deeds 50, McAuliffe 26, Moran 24. For the record, here were the winning guesses, along with the average for all of SSP:


Deeds: 48

McAuliffe: 26

Moran: 26


Deeds: 48

McAuliffe: 27

Moran: 25

SSP Median

Deeds: 41.1

McAuliffe: 31.7

Moran: 26.7

If you want to see exactly how you did, please click here. If you aren’t going to be the recipient of tasty babka, please try again next time (or treat yourself!). Thanks again to all, and congrats once more to the winners!

The Great Swing State Project Predictions Contest: 2008 Results!

At long last, we’ve finally crunched the numbers on the 2008 edition of the Great Swing State Project Predictions Contest. Without further ado (and remember, the lower the score, the better), the winners are:

Place User Score
1 ahfdemocrat 59
T-2 Englishlefty 60
T-2 Tyler Oakley 60

What a photo finish – the next-closest score was 61! Congratulations to all our winners, and our deepest thanks to everyone who participated. We had over 110 entrants – double the number from two years ago.

If you’re a winner, please email me so that I can send you some delicious chocolate babka, as promised (and check out Wikipedia to learn more about this wondrous treat, including the famous Seinfeld episode). Now, since I’ve been an utter bum and never managed to send prizes to the 2006 winners, all the previous victors (Democraticavenger, tyler, DCal and Craig) can also email me to collect. And if this year’s runner up Tyler Oakley is the same person as “tyler” from two years ago, then that’ll mean a double helping of babka!

If you’re curious to see how you fared, I’ve uploaded a complete spreadsheet here. Note that I didn’t compute the tiebreak as it wasn’t necessary, but you can find those guesses on the third tab. (Also, a few users failed to offer predictions for all fourteen races or entered their results too late and thus aren’t on this spreadsheet – sorry!) And here’s how the community predicted things as a whole:

Race SSP Avg. Actual
WA-Gov 4 6
AK-Sen 10 1
MS-Sen-B -5 -10
CA-46 -5 -10
FL-25 1 -6
LA-01 -13 -31
NE-02 -1 -4
NH-01 6 6
NM-02 4 12
NY-13 18 28
OH-02 -3 -7
PA-11 -2 3
TX-22 -6 -7
WY-AL -1 -10

I’ll leave it to you guys to grouse over where we missed things and why. In any event, thanks once again to everyone who submitted predictions, and we look forward to doing this again in two years’ time!

Predictions Contest Closed

Just a reminder — tonight is your last chance to enter SSP’s prediction contest. We’ll be cutting off all entries at midnight Eastern tonight, so get cracking. (And you also have a few hours left if you wish to revise your earlier predictions.)

Babka is on the line here, people!

UPDATE (David): The contest closes in three hours! Get your last-minute predictions (or tweaks) in now!

Also, Daily Kos is having a predictions contest, too. Win both and you can eat delicious chocolate babka while surfing the net on your new MacBook!

LATE UPDATE: It’s done! No more entries will be accepted.

The Great Swing State Project Predictions Contest: 2008 Edition

Just as we did in 2006, the Swing State Project is having a downballot election prediction contest. We’ve handpicked fourteen hot House and Senate races (and one gubernatorial race) from all across the country for you to think hard about and submit your best guesses.

The rules are simple: Only one entry per person will be accepted (so if you post multiple revisions, we’re only going to look at your last post), submitted as a comment in this thread (e-mail submissions will be junked). Submissions will be accepted until midnight Eastern on Monday, November 3rd.

What we’re interested in is the final margin between the Democratic and Republican candidates (except for the tiebreaker), and the goal is to have the lowest score possible. So if you think that Debbie Cook will beat Dana Rohrabacher by a score of 55-45, what we care about is that you think it’s going to be D+10. If she wins 53-47, that’s D+6, so you get four “error points” added to your score. (Remember, fewer points = better.)

This also means that if Cook wins 50-40 (and third parties take the rest), you’ve still “nailed it” according to our system and get a perfect score of zero for the race. If, on the other hand, you call it D+10 and it winds up being R+10, you’ll get 20 points added to your score.

So let’s cut to the chase! Here are the races that we’ve selected:

WA-Gov: Gregoire (D) v. Rossi (R)

AK-Sen: Stevens (R) v. Begich (D)

MS-Sen-B: Wicker (R) v. Musgrove (D)

CA-46: Rohrabacher (R) v. Cook (D)

FL-25: M. Diaz-Balart (R) v. Garcia (D)

LA-01: Scalise (R) v. Harlan (D)

NE-02: Terry (R) v. Esch (D)

NH-01: Shea-Porter (D) v. Bradley (R)

NM-02: Tinsley (R) v. Teague (D)

NY-13: Straniere (R) v. McMahon (D)

OH-02: Schmidt (R) v. Wulsin (D)

PA-11: Kanjorski (D) v. Barletta (R)

TX-22: Lampson (D) v. Olson (R)

WY-AL: Lummis (R) v. Trauner (D)

And the tiebreaker:

MN-Sen: Coleman (R) v. Franken (D) v. Barkley (IP)

Ideally, your entries should look something like:

WA-Gov: D+6

AK-Sen: R+8

And so forth. However, for the tiebreaker (MN-SEN), please predict the EXACT FINAL SCORE for each candidate. You are free to predict final scores for the other races as well, but you’ll make our lives a lot easier if you list the expected margin first as shown above.

Once again, the deadline for your submissions is midnight Eastern on Monday — so get your predictions in soon. The top three finishers (ie, those with the lowest overall scores) will be treated to some of SSP’s favorite chocolate babka (as pictured here).

Have at it!

The Great Swing State Project Predictions Contest: Results Are In!

Back in mid-October, most of you will recall that James and I launched a community predictions contest. We selected twelve races from all across the country – half of them top-tier, the other half more obscure – and asked SSPers to predict the outcomes. Well, we’ve finally compiled the results!

As we said at the outset, winners are determined by who made the closest predictions in the aggregate, across all dozen races. So, for example, if you predicted Corker by five in TN-Sen, you got two “points” added to your total score (he won by three). However, if you had picked Ford by five, you would have gotten eight points added to your score. (In other words, the race was Dem -5, but you said Dem +3, which is a difference of 8.)

If the math bores or confuses you, don’t worry. Just trust me and James. (After all, we majored in history and poli sci.) We tallied up the score in each race for each entrant – the folks with the lowest scores did the best. Without further ado, the winners (scores in parens):

Winner: Democraticavenger (50)
First Runner-Up: Tyler (53)
Second Runner-Up: Dcal (57)
Third Runner-Up: Craig (58)

Congratulations to you all! At some point, my sorry ass will send you some SSP schwag, but I can promise you that it will not come in time for the winter holidays. (Besides, I’ve already missed Diwali by over a month.) Please e-mail me if you are a winner and would like to (eventually) claim your prize.

If you’d like to see how your predictions stacked up against the rest of the community’s (we had 52 total entries), you can check out this PDF. (Legend: R = actual result; D = difference between guess and result; P = “points,” ie, the absolute value of the difference.)

Thanks to everyone for participating! We had a lot of fun, and we hope you did, too.