Maine Election Pool Results - Part 1
With .0019% of the vote still outstanding (according the Bangor Daily News), I'm finally ready to call the winners of the 2009 Maine Election Pool.
If I were going for complete accuracy, I might have waited until all the votes were in, or perhaps until they were certified by the Secretary of State, but a certain journalist with mob connections has been threatening me to get this done and I don't want to end up sleeping with the fishes.
The election pool had twenty-eight entrants this year, including politicians, journalists, activists, bloggers and political scientists from all over the state. Names have been truncated to provide a small bit of privacy.
The winners for each ballot question were determined by calculating the difference between their predictions and the actual vote percentages for and against each measure, dividing by two and then ranking these rates of error. The overall winners were determined by adding together the total error for all seven questions.
Participants got no extra points for guessing which way a question would go, only the proximity of their guess to the actual vote percentages mattered.
Let's get to the results, starting with question 7. Here are the top ten closest entries:
The results of this questions, a constitutional change which would have given town clerks more time to approve signatures for ballot initiatives, were very different from what most people predicted. Sean F. nailed it, but most entrants were way off, as evidenced by the fact that my very wrong prediction of 58-42 made it into the top ten.
This question broke a couple of streaks, making sure that not a single person in the pool correctly guessed the results of all seven questions.
For question 6, the bond issue, the measure passed by a slightly wider margin than the pool predicted, but many entrants came very close. Derek V. had this one pegged.
On question 5, the expansion of Maine's medical marijuana law, most entrants had the measure passing by a narrower margin, but Dan B., Jim M., Sean F. and myself all had it nearly spot-on. I don't know about the rest of them, but I made my guess based in part on the results of the 1999 marijuana vote.
Question 4 was one of the most hotly contested questions of 2009. The polls showed an early lead for the initiative, but in this one the campaign definitely made a difference and TABOR 2 went down, 60-40. Most participants in the pool had the question losing, but by a much closer margin.
George got this one right, but the rest of his answers were so out of whack that I think he just got lucky. Most of the entrants who were close on the other questions were way off on this one.
This exceeding of expectations for the No side on question 4 was evident on election day as well. Pro-TABOR groups seemed shocked and disheartened by their margin of loss. Let's hope that means no TABOR 3.
So that brings us up to the last three questions, the results of which will be posted later this week along with the overall winners and some final analysis of the 2009 election.