Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Glad to Be Wrong: 2012 Election Edition

As something of a pessimist when it comes to predictions, I'm always glad to be wrong.  Last week, I predicted a narrow win for Obama.  But the President won the Electoral College handily, 332-206, verses my prediction of 290-248.  And I was two seats too negative about the Senate, which I predicted to be split 53-47.  I was about right with the popular vote, which Obama won 50.3% to 48.1% to 2.6% (mainly for Gary Johnson), verses my prediction of 50% to 49% to 1%.

Unfortunately, I was several seats too positive about the House, as the Democrats only picked up seven seats in the House of Representatives.  I predicted a 230-208 split, but the final result looks like it will be 235 to 200 (barring any flips during a recount, which is unlikely).  The Republicans appear to have done a very good job of protecting their candidates during the 2011-2012 redistricting process.  This will make actually governing the country even harder than I expected, because the remaining Republicans will have even less reason to fear the displeasure of their constituents.  Another reason Republicans won't worry about reelection in 2014 is that there is a historical pattern of the president's party losing House seats in mid-term elections.  I haven't looked at the details yet, but I am fairly sure that none of the Republican freshman are moderates, so the caucus will be even more radical.  All this points to gridlock no matter how many generous offers of compromise Obama makes.

I'll be happy to be wrong about my prediction of gridlock, though it will take a bit longer than a week to see the outcome.

No comments: