Utah Politico Hub: Fearless Predictions Revisited

Utah Politico Hub: Fearless Predictions RevisitedWait a minute. Hold the presses. How did those Utah Politico Hub election predictions turn out? There were eight brave souls who put their sterling reputations on the line. With the election canvas producing three different winners than election night, it is only fair that we review what the “experts” thought about Utah races going into election night. Any pre-canvas analysis was (as we now know) premature.

There are 12 races with predictions, although in fairness we were having a little fun with one of our own bloggers John English on one of those questions.

Crystal balls aside, which of these bloggers using the sophisticated data analytics modeling with all sorts of cool algorithms predicted all 12 races correctly?

Uhhhh. None. Really. None?

How about just one miss? After all, everybody is entitled to a mistake. And like the Beatles said, “One is the loneliest number that I’ve ever seen”.

zzzzzzz. Zippo. Nada. Nobody.

Wake up! There were eight Utah Politico Hub bloggers, world-famous in their own right who made predictions. These legends (in their own minds went out on a limb and put their reputations on the line and how many missed only two?

(play in the background Queen’s We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions)

Me. Me. Me. (My wife reminds me often that it’s not always about me Was she ever wrong. Today it is all about me). I only missed two.

And I have a ton of excuses why I didn’t do even better. For instance, I didn’t bother to look at the map in Carbon/Duchesne Counties for District 69. If I had, I would have clearly seen Carbon with the largest voter population and an easy to predict trend of regionality trumping Party.

There are no excuses too trivial. I missed Fred Cox over Mike Lee. I must have mixed up the Mike Lee name. Right on election night and wrong when absentee and provisional ballots were counted.

(play in the background the theme from Rocky)

Okay, it wasn’t only me. Dan Burton only missed two as well. And he does know his politics. My hat if off to Mr. Burton for a fine performance. He was at the top of his game.

Dan can make excuses too if he’d like. He didn’t pay enough attention to the map in that District 69 race. His other miss was the Cutler vs. Passey race. One of those flipped seats two weeks after the election. He meant to pick Cutler, but accidently picked Passey.

(Play in the background Nananana Hey Hey-ey Goodbye)

And Holly Richardson only missed two, but with an asterisk. She predicted Mia to win by 8% points or over twice as much as she actually did. On election night Mia won by 3.29%. I will have to keep digging to find her canvassed results, but I’m pretty sure we won’t come up with a 8% margin. Holly picked Peterson in Senate District 4 and Passey. I think she like Dan meant to pick Cutler, but the touchscreen malfunctioned. Kind of like those voting machines around the country this year that malfunctioned.

How did the rest of the experts do? Remember there were 12 races to predict. Were there any who only missed three? That would still be 75% correct predictions. Anyone. Anyone. Bueller. Bueller.

John English and Jesse Harris please come forward. These two prognosticators only missed three races each. Digging a little deeper we find that both missed out on Senate District 4 picking Peterson over Iwamoto, but John chose Weeks over Stephenson and Labrum over King while Jesse chose Passey over Cutler and Lee over Cox.

Nobody can be accused of plagiarism. None of the experts picked the same slate of candidates. They were on their own and used some of the most innovative and critical thinking to make their picks. Must be their STEM education backgrounds.

Now we are through 5 of the 8 experts. How did the other three do? Graveyards are full of people dying to know. Buda boom. Drum roll please……

Karen Peterson missed four, correctly picking the write-in candidate winning in Congressional District 3. What? She got that wrong. Who knew? Chaffetz barely won that race. She almost got it right. Okay, so she missed five.

In a careful analysis of the trends in Karen’s prediction patterns, there is a bias towards women over men and towards Republicans when it is two guys battling it out. Karen claims that she made the picks under duress and at a time when there was a full moon.

I don’t want to say that any of the other experts missed five picks out of twelve, so I won’t. In fact, there were two more experts who didn’t miss five. They missed six. That is half of the races. How do you miss half of the local election races you are asked to predict? It actually is a skill unto itself. I’m not sure you could go into a 12 race prediction and intentionally miss six. Way too hard.

But Shon Harris and Curt Bentley did it. They should actually receive an award for defying the odds and missing six.

Shon though has an excuse. And if the rest of us can use excuses, then so can Shon. He was in charge of running the most competitive statewide race of the year for a candidate. I’m not sure what his official title was, but Shon spent the vast majority of his time helping Charles Stormont only lose by 35% on election night which if canvas trends hold true may be overturned. I watched Shon work his butt off so to speak and I pay tribute to him for his willingness to get involved in the political process. He does owe me lunch however. Not that I would ever take his bet on the easiest to predict statewide race this year.

Curt on the other hand, has no excuse. Yes its true, he is a high-powered attorney making hundreds of dollars and hour on life and death matters. And yes it is also true that he has a family that needs his attention hours and hours each day. And yes it is totally true that he is in charge of hosting the UtahPoliticoHub website which takes him minutes each week to maintain. But come on Curt, six misses! My future grandchildren could get half the picks right while at the same time spitting up baby food. A drunk person in a bar could throw darts at who to pick and get more right than six. A blind squirrel could find nuts easier than someone missing six out of 12 picks.

Recently, I’ve discovered something. I thought I knew most of the politicos in Utah. But mostly it’s those who are in the public eye or are active Republicans or Democrats. I found there are many people out there who stay outside the public limelight, but have great passion for politics too. More of them than you might think. People who understand good government; who have read the Constitution and understand the “American Experiment” as the Founders envisioned. These are the people who talk people into running for office, who strategize, fundraise, walk neighborhoods and make phone calls for candidates. They understand good government. Some of them blog too. They are political experts, including Shon and Curt. And you can find them on Utah Politco Hub.

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