MinnPost election contest: You may already be a winner

A week before Election Day,  I asked foolhardy would-be seers to predict the outcome of 10 U.S. House and Senate races. Even more foolhardy than you who entered was your humble ink-stained wretch, who thought that within a couple of days of Election Day, we would know the results.

Silly wretch. Turns out that two of the 10 races are still “final winner unknown.” Our very own Coleman-Franken Senate contest, where a final result will be known in December at the earliest, and the Georgia race between Repub Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Dem challenger Jim Martin, which is headed for a Dec. 2 runoff (plus the recount of the runoff, just kidding, or am I?).

But despite these complications, I can declare a winner.

Most of you messed up on the races for Congress from Minnesota’s 3rd and 6th districts. Only one entrant correctly predicted that the two Republicans, Eric Paulsen in the Third and Michele Bachmann in the Sixth, would both beat the rising blue tide. They did.

Of the eight races that have been decided, only one MinnPost reader got ’em all right, so congratulations to David Jacobsen, who has a firm grip on First Place no matter how the last two races come out.

David, please let us know, preferably in the thread below, whether you prefer two tickets to “Shadowlands” at the Guthrie, or lunch, on us, at a fine but not outrageous downtown Mpls restaurant, with me to talk about politics and about how perspicacious you are. (If you take the tickets, you have a choice of any dates for which tickets are available. If you take the lunch, we’ll work out the date to our mutual convenience.)

David, by the way, who apparently visited the future and brought back the results as in one of those “Twilight Zone” episodes, predicted Norm Coleman and Saxby Chambliss, which I guess tells you how those races will come out.

Tim Hayes and Sam Bergman deserve a mention for getting seven of the eight correct. But they also picked Coleman and Chambliss, so there is no way for either of them to overtake David.

Three other special cases need a brief discussion, both to give recognition to strong contenders and to assure you I thought this through. Mike Vanerscheuren got seven of eight of the settled races and chose Coleman and Jim Martin in Georgia, which creates the illusion that he could pull into a tie with David if Martin wins the runoff. Jeff Rosenberg and Dean Carlson both got six of the eight settled races and picked Franken and Martin (creating the illusion that they could tie David if Franken and Martin both win). Here’s why they can’t:

As I confessed in the thread under the original contest post, when I chose the 10 races, I was unaware of Georgia’s cockamamie (I mean interesting and unusual) law that requires the winner to get more than 50 percent of the votes, which is why there is a runoff (even though Chambliss beat Martin with 49.8 to 46.8 percent). I didn’t specify whether you were being asked to predict who would get the most votes on Nov. 5, or who would ultimately win the seat. When I discovered the problem, I announced that no one would be penalized for getting Georgia wrong, which means that no one can make up any ground on David with a Martin pick. (And, after all, David was at least half-right, since Chambliss did get the most votes on Nov. 5.)

So, congratulations David, and thanks to all for playing.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Tommy Johnson on 11/12/2008 - 02:34 pm.

    So, who brought up the rear?

    Did I “win” an hour-old cuppa joe, or what?

  2. Submitted by Eric Black on 11/12/2008 - 04:28 pm.

    The entries are still viewable in the thread under the original post. You didn’t do so hot, although your score could inmprove if Steve Sarvi wins the recount.
    But, as there was no prize for last place, I will make no further comment on that end of the spectrum nor that spectrum of the end.

  3. Submitted by David Jacobsen on 11/12/2008 - 04:54 pm.

    Eric – I’ll take the lunch option, thanks! I’m just glad that I didn’t have to lawyer up for a recount, or gather a team of volunteers to stand guard over this site until the results were official.


  4. Submitted by Karl Singer on 11/12/2008 - 07:25 pm.

    Hey! I demand a recount! I nailed 6 out of 8. So I’ll tie Jeff third place. But Dean picked Musgrove who lost. So he’s in forth place.

    And Tommy and Patrick Phenow are locked in a tight race for last. Tommy picked Franken and Martin to win the runoffs while Patrick picked Coleman and Saxby. It’s a real tossup race that is coming down the wire, I hear both are staffing up.


  5. Submitted by Dean Carlson on 11/12/2008 - 08:09 pm.

    What? There were no lawyers or teams of volunteers looking over this site? As someone who may miss out on a free lunch due to a “technicality,” I’m outraged.

    Thus far, Black has shown no evidence of misconduct. But many Minn-Post readers are questioning the openness and transparency of the vote tally that just ended.

  6. Submitted by Patrick Phenow on 11/13/2008 - 06:17 pm.

    I would like to say that my quite possibly last place entry was based on optimism in a few cases, pessimism in others, ignorance in most, and actual political acuity in none.

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