It’s the Just Well Mixed 2006 Election Prediction Contest!
Two years ago in this space, we had the first ever Just Well Mixed Election Prediction Contest, and a good time was had by all. So, now that we’re down to only a few days before this year’s election, it’s time for the 2006 Midterms Edition!
How to Play
Here’s the rules. To enter, leave a comment on this post containing your predictions for which candidate will win each of the following five Senate races:
- Missouri: Claire McCaskill (D) vs. Jim Talent (R, incumbent)
- Montana: Jon Tester (D) vs. Conrad Burns (R, incumbent)
- Tennessee: Harold Ford, Jr. (D) vs. Bob Corker (R) (open seat, no incumbent)
- New Jersey: Bob Menendez (D, incumbent) vs. Tom Kean, Jr. (R)
- Virginia: Jim Webb (D) vs. George Allen (R, incumbent)
The winner will be the entrant who makes the highest number of correct predictions.
In the off chance that multiple entrants get 5 out of 5, we need a tiebreaker question. That tie-breaker question is: how many seats will the Democrats hold in the House of Representatives after the election? In the case of a tie, the winner will be the entrant who comes closest to the actual number, without going over.
Political computer game moguls 80soft have just released the 2008 edition of their outstanding game President Forever. This new version (President Forever + Primaries) lets you play not just the general election, but also battle through the whole primary season.
Whoever wins the contest will receive a copy of President Forever + Primaries, on me. And to sweeten the pot, if you get all five right and guess the exact number of seats in the House the Democrats are left with, I’ll throw in a copy of 80soft’s game of Canadian politics (Prime Minister Forever, Canada 2006) to boot. Not bad, eh? I own both and I can attest that they will give you many hours of amusement.
About the Races
The five Senate races in question are all considered "too close to call" as of this writing (9:45PM, October 31). Most are "statistical dead heats", meaning that the candidates’ poll results are so close that they are within the margin of error for the polls.
For the tiebreaker — there are 435 members of the House of Representatives. Currently, 203 of those are Democrats (well, 202 are Democrats and one is independent socialist Bernie Sanders, who is a Democrat for all intents and purposes). Experts are predicting the Democrats will pick up enough House seats to give them the majority for the first time in twelve years, but nobody’s sure exactly how big those gains will be; predictions range from as few as 15 seats to as many as 40+.
Tools and Resources
Here’s some useful sites you can use to develop your predictions:
- The Electoral Vote Predictor has just about every poll that’s been run for every race in the country for 2006. An invaluable resource.
- Talking Points Memo’s Election Central is another great source for poll information and status reports on campaigns.
- The Washington Post’s Midterm Madness is an interactive Flash application you can use to test out your theories, and see predictions from the Post’s political blogger, Chris Cillizza.
- Majority Watch does their own polling in 60 key districts across the country; you can explore the results in their interactive app.
- And if you want a Republican slant on poll results, Crosstabs.org is a good place to start.
Rules and Conditions
A few rules, to keep things civilized:
- Entries will be accepted from the moment this post goes live until 12 midnight on Friday, November 3. Entries submitted on Saturday the 4th or later are not eligible.
- If you submit an entry and then change your mind and wish to re-submit it, you can: just leave another comment with your revised predictions. The comment by you with the most recent timestamp will be considered your current entry.
- If you can’t use or don’t want the software as the prize, I will send you the cash value of the prize ($19.95 or $34.90, depending on how big you win) instead via PayPal; or, if you prefer, I will donate the cash value to the charity of your choice.
That’s it. So what are you waiting for, Intrepid Readers? Get to predicting!
UPDATE (Nov. 9): We have a winner!