Now that Florida has FINALLY counted its ballots (why can 49 states conduct an efficient election but Florida can’t?), we know the final tally. The Sunshine State went for Obama, giving him a total of 332 electoral votes. Here are the results:
|Candidate||Popular vote||Percentage||Electoral votes (270 to win)|
This enables us to assess how we did at our pre-election post Your predictions.
The winner? MY BROTHER Jimmy Veith. He nailed it EXACTLY. Here is what he said at comment 22:
My brother is good at predictions. I am a little better.
Popular vote: Obama: 51%, Romney: 48%, Others: 1%
Congratulations, Jimmy! You have proven yourself to be this blog’s top prognosticator. And thanks for keeping it in the family. (Imagine what I am going to have to put up with at Christmas!)
I predicted Obama would get 291, coming short by 41. The Veith boys, Jason, Todd, Klasie, Darren, & ADB were the only ones who correctly predicted an Obama victory.
I appreciate SKPeterson’s comment in a post-election thread:
It would appear that the Republican Party would be better served if it followed the commentary on Cranach and quit listening to the Limbaugh’s, the Rove’s and the WSJ hack commentariat (as much as I enjoy reading the WSJ too, natch).
He links to this article: How Conservative Media Lost to the MSM and Failed the Rank and File. According to the author, Conor Friedersdorf , the conservative media and punditocracy were nearly unanimous in predicting a Romney victory. They didn’t predict a McCain victory in the last presidential election, but this time wishful thinking trumped reality across the board.
Perhaps my brother Jimmy will explain how he reached his completely accurate conclusion. (I wouldn’t be surprised if wishful thinking had some influence, Obama fan that he is. I myself wished for the opposite of what I predicted, which I daresay is even rarer.) But here is my reasoning, first, in regards to the election results; and second, in regards to the arguably more impressive feat of predicting Obama’s election in 2008 before he won any primaries, Romney’s nomination before the Republican primaries, and Obama’s re-election at the lowest point of his popularity.
For the election, I ignored the popular vote, which has little to do with electing a president. The electoral vote is everything, so the state-by-state results are everything. In general, unlike most conservatives, I trusted the poll results. Survey research has gotten extremely sophisticated. Journalists might be biased, but it does no good for professional pollsters to be biased, since their livelihoods depend on accuracy. One can question their sampling techniques, but these guys usually know what they are doing. That is to say, it’s a matter of vocation. It’s true that poll results will vary, so I paid most attention to the poll aggregators at RealClearPolitics, which posts the average of all polls. Most of the states were strongly for one candidate or the other, with neither scoring the necessary 270 total. So everything hinged on eight too-close-to-call “battleground states.” For Romney to win, he would have to win virtually all of them. I thought that was unlikely. Obama only needed a few. The day before the election, the polls showed him leading slightly in most of them. As my brother somehow knew would happen, he won all but two.
So much for my quantitative analysis. For my qualitative analysis that predicted the outcomes before the races even started, I picked Romney as the best of an exceedingly weak field. And by “best” I do not mean the most conservative or the one who would be the most effective chief executive. I mean the one who presented himself the best and seemed least likely to pull something embarrassing. (Republicans have GOT to field better candidates.) Americans like their presidents, for better or for worse, to be inspiring and have a compelling story, to have a mythical quality about them, to be larger than life. Not all presidents are that way. George W. Bush wasn’t, but then again neither was Al Gore or John Kerry. Nor do such figures necessarily make good presidents. But Barack Obama had the “it” factor, so I thought he would go far.