Wednesday, November 03, 2004
So, before we move on to something, I dunno, substantive: how'd I do as a prognosticator?
Well, back in September, after both conventions but before the debates (remember I was underwhelmed by Bush's convention) I predicted Bush 296 Kerry 242 and a popular vote margin of between 2% and 4%. I predicted Kerry would narrowly take New Hampshire, Minnesota and Maine, and that Bush would narrowly win Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico. Kerry won Maine decisively, but otherwise that list is correct. The only state I got wrong: Wisconsin. I really thought Bush would take it. It's still conceivable that he does, after they count all the ballots, just as it's still conceivable Kerry wins Iowa after all the ballots are counted, but right now Kerry is ahead and I imagine that's where it'll end up. Still, I'd say that's a pretty good call, on both the Electoral College and the popular vote, from 5 weeks out.
Of course, I also made calls on the Senate, where I was way too pessimistic. I predicted GOP losses in Alaska, North Carolina, South Dakota and Oklahoma (!), and GOP wins in Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Colorado (oops) for a net pickup of 1 seat. Instead, we have a GOP pickup of *four* seats - they won everything they possibly could win except Colorado. In retrospect, my calls on Colorado and Oklahoma were based on pure ignorance; I didn't know much about either candidate in either race and so took a wild swing. I'm genuinely impressed by the turnaround in North Carolina, albeit I thought Bowles would have made a fine Senator, the sort of Democrat the GOP can work with (and much, much better than Edwards). Alaska and South Dakota were just my pessimism, which turned out to be unfounded. It was a big GOP night in GOP country. Back in September, I expected more ambivalence - on both sides of the aisle.