Reading political tea leaves is difficult sometimes, but we did very well this year. The State of Sunshine made predictions yesterday in 143 races, getting 124 of them correct — and two races are close enough to trigger an automatic recount. (The correct races are marked with a ♦ on the link referenced above.)
At the federal level, for US House and Senate, we predicted 19 of 20 races correctly, only losing the House 13 race. We predicted Jennings to beat Buchanan, but as of post time, Buchanan was winning by 368 votes – 50.1% to 49.9%. This race will drag for a little while as all absentee and provisional ballots are counted, then as all ballots are re-counted.
At the state level, we predicted three of four races correctly, including Alex Sink’s victory as the lone Democrat. We incorrectly thought Skip Campbell would beat Bill McCollum. For Charlie Crist and Charlie Bronson, the handwriting on the wall was easy to read.
In the Florida Legislature, the State of Sunshine predicted 74 of 80 races correctly. We missed on House 11, a Democratic open seat we thought David Pope would take for the Republicans; House 36, where Republican Sheri McInvale lost her bid for re-election; House 69, a Republican seat Laura Benson lost by 1.2%; House 97, where Republican Susan Goldstein lost her bid for re-election; House 107, a Republican seat lost by Frank Carollo; and House 120, a Republican seat won by Democrat Ron Saunders. We correctly predicted the Republicans losing House 51 and House 52 in Pinellas County, however, so we should get some credit there.
In the courts, we predicted 9 of 11 races correctly – losing one race each in the 5th, 6th, and 13th and circuits. In those races, the female candidate lost to a male candidate – breaking a trend this year. In the primary, the only women who lost judicial races, lost to sitting judges.
At the County level, we only predicted races in the Bay area. Some of these races were beyond our expertise, but we cast an educated guess anyway and made 9 of 11 correct. We missed one race each in Hernando and Pasco Counties – in both cases, Democrats defeated Republicans. We also picked two other races in Hillsborough County, and made correct predictions there.
Finally, we predicted 8 school board races but were only correct three times. One of the races, in Hillsborough County, will be undergoing a recount so we could end up at .500 in these contests. However, given that we didn’t follow school board races, batting .375 is a decent average.