It's Time to Grade Pundit Predictions

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With the swing states coming in, it's time to judge our pundits based on their predictions, which we compiled this morning on our prediction scorecard and surprise: A lot of them are wrong. Our most optimistic conservatives are getting crushed right off the bat. Anyone who thought Barack Obama might lose Pennsylvania, like The Washington Examiner's Michael Barone, just had their maps disproved. The Wisconsin and New Hampshire-for-Romney hopefuls just lost their dreams, too. On the other side of it, the most pessimistic of our Obama win predictors, like The New York Times's Ross Douthat, are also out of the running, with New Hampshire going blue. And that's not even counting our talking heads who didn't give specific state-by-state breakdowns.

Round 1: In the first round of eliminations, which includes Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire for Obama here are our very wrong and not at all right pundits:

  • Almost all of our writers are out from the Daily Caller: James Antle III, Nicholas Ballasy, David Martosko, Alex Pappas, and Jamie Morris all called it for Romney with either Wisconsin, New Hampshire, or in some cases, Pennsylvania. 
  • Conservative's Dick Morris at the Hill, Larry O'Connor at Breitbart , and Meredith Jessup from The Blaze are also out, with their optimistic Romney takes all predictions. 
  • Ari Fleischer at CNN thought Romney would get Wisconsin and New Hampshire. 
  • And Obama predictors Ross Douthat, Philip Klein, Larry Donnelly, Doyle McManus, Cokie Roberts and Ronald Brownstein are out for not giving Obama New Hampshire.
  • Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast discounted Wisconsin.

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Round 2: Even with the same sex marriage amendment on the ballot, Obama just got Minnesota. Our pundits who thought that might go to Romney already got out because of their too-red maps. 

Round 3: With North Carolina going to Romney, all of our remaining pundits who gave electoral state breakdowns stay safe.

Round 4: Iowa also keeps all of our pundits safe. 

Round 5: Well Ohio for Obama really killed it for so many of our pundits. Anyone calling Romney is out, for example. Especially Karl Rove, who didn't give a specific state by state breakdown but did say Romney would win Ohio, he is out. That also means Peggy Noonan's vibrations were off, so were Ann Coulter, Dave Weigel, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Newt Gingrich, and William Kristol. But this doesn't mean it's over for our pundit scoring. We still have to see how the electoral votes break down for Obama. 

Round 6: Nevada and Colorado. With Obama up to 290 votes, we knocked out a lot of our conservative (in estimates not ideology) Obama projections. 

Round 7: Virginia, here we come. 

Round 8, The Finalists: With only Florida and Alaska remaining to get called, it looks like our two possible electoral vote outcomes will come down to 332-206, if Obama gets Florida. Or 303-225—if things don't change in Ohio, which at this point, maybe they will. And, if Romney gets Alaska, as he should. In any case, that leaves us with few contenders, including the much talked about Nate Silver, Matthew Dowd, Jennifer Granholm, The Daily Kos, and poker player Matt Matros. Also the people who put down a vague "Obama" are still in, of course their final scores will get many fewer points. 

While we're here, note how many of them got it wrong: so many!

And that is just the first round. We'll  continue to update with the results as certain political talking heads's forecasts miss the mark. When this is all over, we'll see who got what right and crown our rightest pundit in all the land. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.