05 November 2010

2010 Predictions Scorecard

Unlike most prophets, I admit when I've made mistakes and actively review the accuracy of my past predictions. 2010 was a worse than usual year for my prediction accuracy. I made my predictions on September 21 (not long after the primary results and issues to appear on the ballot were clear):

I. National Federal Election Results

1. The Democrats will retain control of the U.S. House, but will have a thinner majority.

Wrong by about 21 seats.

2. There will be fewer Blue Dog Democrats in the U.S. House, but they will remain politically important.

More than half of the Blue Dogs are gone. Their political importance isn't yet clear.

3. The Democrats will retain control of the U.S. Senate, but will have a thinner majority.


4. There will be fewer conservative Democrats in the U.S. Senate, but those that remain will remain politically important.


5. The Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate will have fewer moderates, and more members, and will filibuster Democratic legislation more often as a result.

There are fewer moderates. We'll see how many filibusters result.

6. Tea Party candidates for federal legislative offices will underperform their current polling in the actual November election.

Rasmussen consistently favored Republicans in its polling. In the Nevada Senate race, the Colorado U.S. Senate race and the Colorado Governor's race the Tea Party candidates underperformed their polling. The R&D Department will have to look into whether this was a consistent national trend.

II. Colorado Results In Federal Races

1. Incumbent Democrat John Salazar will easily defeat Republican challengerr Scott Tipton in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, contrary to dubious classifications of the race as a toss up by the New York Times and 528.


2. Incumbent Democrat Ed Perlmutter will easily defeat Republican challenger Ryan Frazier in Colorado's 7th Congressional District. The New York Times and 528 have greatly overrated Frazier's odds of success.


3. Incumbent members of Congress will be re-elected in Colorado's 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th Congressional Districts. The margin of victory will be smaller than last year in the 1st and 2nd CDs and larger than last year in the 5th and 6th CDs.

Correct outcomes. The R&D Department will have to check on the margins of victory.

4. The U.S. Senate race in Colorado, the contest between Democrat Michael Bennet and Ken Buck is close, but Bennet has a somewhat better than 50-50 chance of winning by a narrow margin.


5. Incumbent Democrat Betsy Markey and Republican challenger Cory Gardner in Colorado's 4th Congressional district are in a toss up race. The most likely result in my view is that she will be re-elected with less than 50% of the votes cast with a conservative third party candidate depriving Cory Gardner of a win in this race.


III. State Elected Offices In Colorado

1. Democrats will control the state house and state senate in Colorado, but will lose some seats in each house of the Colorado General Assembly.

The Democrats kept control of the state senate and lost some seats in each house of the Colorado General Assembly. But, they appear to have lost control of the state house by a single seat by a matter of a couple hundred votes, with some vote continuing continuing as I write this post.

2. Every Democratic candidate for the Colorado General Assembly in Denver will win.


3. John Hickenlooper will be our next Governor in Colorado, easily defeating Tom Tancredo and Dan Maes. Tom Tancredo will probably get more votes than Dan Maes.


4. Incumbent Colorado State Treasurer Democrat Cary Kennedy, incumbent Colorado Secretary of State Democrat Bernie Buescher, incumbent Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, and incumbent Republican Steve Bosley in the CU Regent at Large Race, are all somewhat more likely to win than their challengers in races that are volatile because they will receive only a few pivotal moments of public attention.

The two Republican incumbents won. The two Democratic incumbents lost.

5. Republican Sue Sharkey will defeat Democrat Robert Bishop-Cotner in the CU-Regent race in CD-4 in Colorado. (Michael Carrigan who is unopposed in CD-1 in his run as an incumbent for CU-Regent will, of course, be re-elected.)


6. As a consequence of my predictions in the CU Regent at Large and CD-4 race for CU-Regent, Republicans will retain 5-4 control of the CU-Regents.


7. Republicans will retain 4-3 control of the Colorado State Board of Education with no seats changing political party control. The seats in CD-2, CD-5 and CD-6 are uncontested (at least by any major party candidate) in the general election.


8. Republican turnout in Colorado (on a percentage basis of the total voting electorate) will be lower than predicted by many polls to date.

I was wrong. The polls were about right on turnout. Note that this assumption explains many of my other missed predictions.

9. Democrats will control the redistricting process based on the 2010 census, which will give Democrats an edge in the 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections for the State House, State Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Colorado will have seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives as a result of the 2010 Census.


IV. Colorado and Denver Ballot Issues

1. The ballot measure to create an Extraterrestrial Commission in Denver will be defeated. Even my kids and nerds interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life oppose it.


2. Ballot issues 60, 61, 101 will be soundly defeated. These limit the ability of state and local governments in Colorado to borrow money and greatly reduce taxes. Floyd Ciruli's pollling shows that ballot issue 60 is already opposed by more voters than those that favor it, that issue 61 is favored by only slightly more than those that opposed it with 36% supporting it, and that issue 101 is favored by 51% with a large margin in favor, but bipartisan opposition and a long term trend for ballot issues to lose support over time will sink all three measures.


3. Ballot issue 62 (personhood) will be soundly defeated in Colorado, just as an almost identical ballot issue was in 2008.


4. Ballot issue 63, John Caldera's anti-health care initiative in Colorado, will fail.


5. Colorado Referrendum P moving bingo regulation to a different government department will pass. Simple house keeping amendments usually pass.


6. Colorado Referrendum Q (relocation of the capital in a disaster) will narrowly pass.

Right. Well, actually, it passed not so narrowly.

7. Colorado Referrendum R (property tax break for grazing leases and other low value leaseholds) will pass.


8. Colorado ballot issue 102, that will end personal recognizance bonds in many cases, will narrowly fail.

Right. Well, actually, it failed in a big way.

V. Colorado's Judicial Retention Elections

1. All appellate judges in Colorado will be retained in their retention elections, despite the efforts of Clear The Bench Colorado.


2. All trial court judges in Colorado recommended for retention (all but two of them).

Wrong (and less than articulate). Two retention recommended judges were not retained in Larimer County.

3. Denver County Judge Honorable Mary A. Celeste will be retained despite a "NO OPINION" rating from the Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation.


4. 10th Judicial District Judge Honorable Jill S. Mattoon (Pueblo County) will not be retained, by a narrow margin, after having received a "DO NOT RETAIN" rating from the Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation.


VI. Miscellaneous

1. California Proposition 19, legalizing marijuana in California and taxing it, will pass. The federal government will by prosecutorial policy or Congressional action honor the wishes of California citizens in a way that does not provide complete certainty to marijuana users and dealers, in a turning point in the war on drugs that shifts public opinion on the issue.


2. There will be more Republican Governors after the election than there were before the election (currently there are 26 Democrats, 23 Republicans and 1 independent).


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