Who Needs Nate Silver When We’ve Got NC Readers?

Prediction contest!

NC will award digital prizes to the NC readers who most accurately predict:

1. The winner.1

2. The time that the first major network calls a winner.2

3. The electoral college totals. 3

4. The popular vote, expressed as a percentage.4

So, readers, leave your predictions in comments! (We will need a real email address to award your digital prize.) You may guess predict any or all of the four, but I think it’s more fun to predict them all. Mix ’em, match ’em, share ’em with your friends!

Of course, in the words of the great Peggy Noonan, “It would be irresponsible not to speculate,” so consider this an open thread on the election ’til I start the live blog at 4:00.

* * *

Digital prizes will be announced at NC and awarded as follows via email, in order by category above:

1. For the winner: Le Prix de Fôam (sponsored by the Bankster Overlords for Tim Geithner Charitable Foundation) hat tip Ms G

2. For the time: The Medal of Semantic Dishonor (sponsored by the Edward Bernays Family Foundation and the Joseph Goebbels Trust)

3. For the electoral college: One membership in the Eldritch and Hermeneutic Order of the High-Pitched Warble (sponsored by the Sveriges Riksbank)

4. For the popular vote: The Medal of Pour le Quelle Surprise (in honor of the NC commentariat)

Decisions by The Judge are final!


1. That is, the legacy party candidate: Whether, Obama or Romney. Winners like “the banksters,” or losers like “the American people” will be disallowed.

2. Date, hours, minutes, e.g. 2013-04-01 at 4:20PM or equivalent. If you believe that the election will be contested, write in the date that you feel that the election will be resolved. ADDING 1:07PM “Major network” means ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN (and not NPR or CBN).

3. For example, “Obama 332, Romney 206” (Kos), or “Obama 440, Romney 98 (Cramer) or somewhere in between. Totals must add to 538!

4. Your total must add to 100%. That means you must predict the performance of third parties.

This was Yves’s idea but I wrote it up, so any errors are mine.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Garrett Pace

    Here’s David Letterman’s predictions:

    “So here’s the rundown: tomorrow is Election Day; Wednesday will be the recount; December 18 the Supreme Court will give the election to Mitt Romney. That’s what we got ahead of us.”

    1. TK21

      That would be a shame, because then we’d have a president who believes the rich should be given whatever they want while programs for the needy are cut back, oil-drilling should be radically expanded, America should conduct more military adventures around the world, and the president can spy on or imprison or kill any American he wants.

      Oh, wait…

      1. Susan the other

        Exposing the Rove Romney voting fraud will be a difficult decision for the DNC but they will take it because they have a lot at stake. They will forego the chance that they will want to use the same software because they have so much to lose. So my predictions are:
        1. The winner will be under surveillance from 12 noon on EST because at least one machine will be discovered to be using a biased software.
        2. This illegal software, an act of treason which will be underplayed, will be confirmed by 10 pm with just way too many examples to ignore wherein Obama votes are siphoned of randomly to the Mittster – in all the swing states.
        3. Before midnight the electoral college will be suspended.
        4. Over the next 3 days the popular vote will be rescheduled into December and restricted to only manual ballots. Excuses will be made that it is just a glitch.
        5. The American electorate will win but they won’t realize it.

        1. Don Lowell

          Wow! Excellent manifesto you laid out. It makes my heart relax and I can calm down. These machines have got to go to the garbage dump.

  2. makarov

    1. Obama
    2. 7 November 2012 @ 12:45 AM EST
    3. Obama 332 to Romney 206
    4. Obama 50.1%, Romney 48.7%, Other 2.4%

  3. eric authority cartman

    Obama wins 303 electoral votes.

    Popular vote: 47-49 Obama v. 47-49 Romney.

    The last remnants of FDR liberalism gets thrown under the bus when the fiscal cliff hits.

  4. Lambert Strether Post author

    By this time tomorrow, we’ll either know or not know which neo-liberal actual or promised war criminal will enable Social Security to be looted and keep disemnployment permanently high!

    1. TK21

      I hope Obama wins, because he will tell me comforting lies while he destroys my country and the lives of millions of people! heart heart heart!

      1. Ms G

        Yes, Thank God for the Obama Morphine Drip. And it’s legal (unlike heroin) AND administered for free (well, sorta – externalities, etc.) without any involvement by “Health” Insurance. Wow! Back to sleepy happy dream state now, until Lambert.

    2. Finnucane

      Somebody just hit my FB page with the exhortation to just vote for SOMEBODY, because our troops overseas are fighting for our right to vote.

      I’m feeling a little bit sick. Seriously, I’ve always been a bit prone to psychosomatic nausea, and now’s the time for it.

      1. curlydan

        Can your FB friends handle an verbal assualt against imperialsim and pointing out the fact that we’re fighting for a bunch of rich dudes that don’t have to pay much in taxes? Probably not, I’m guessing.

    3. Cynthia

      The Democratic Party has not been a real opposition party since the Labor Unions died out and lost their power, and people were taught to think of themselves as “middle class,” not “working class.” Eliminate the Electoral College and television presidential advertising with a Constitutional Amendment and an opposition party might manage to emerge.

      There is such a ‘tempest in a teacup’ dialog going on here about the absolutely absurd state of what passes for our political system.

      Voters are more or less held hostage to a system that proactively suppresses the practice of representative democracy.

      Too much money, too many laws passed to specifically dis-empower the electorate and too much magical thinking by the supporters of the status quo prevent any meaningful change from happening from within the system.

      Real change will ONLY come when enough of us turn our backs on the current economic, social and political paradigm.

      If not already here, the totalitarian state is only one step away.

      Can we prevent it from arriving? No. Can we slow its arrival? No. Can we resist it when it arrives? That depends on how much sacrifice anyone is willing to make.

      Wall Street has captured the State
      Of this there can be no debate
      Their power will rise
      As liberty dies
      And standards of living deflate

      The Limerick King


  5. Brett

    Obama wins.
    Victor called at 11:47pm EST
    Obama 315 EC votes, Romney 223 EC votes
    Popular vote 48.9% Obama, 50.0% Romney, 1.1% Johnson, Other – nil

  6. Andrew Foland

    1. Obama
    2. 11/6 at 11:15 PM
    3. Obama 303 Romney 255
    4. Obama 50.5%, Romney 48.5%, Third Parties 1.0%

  7. Jay L

    1. Barry O
    2. 11-6-2012 @ 11:42pm eastern time
    3. 332 for Barry O, 206 for R-Money
    4. Barry O 51.0%, R-Money 48.1%, Other 0.9%

  8. timotheus

    1. Obama
    2. Dec. 14 (Ohio in litigation for six weeks)
    3. 285-253
    4. Obama 48.8% Romney 49.1% third parties 2.1%

    all this only if N Silver projections are bushwhacked by shenanigans! fun!

  9. JRC

    1. B.H. Obama
    2. 11/6/12 @ 11:11:11pm EST
    3. 281-257
    4. Obama 49.0%, Romney 49.0%, Johnson 1.6%, Stein 0.4%

  10. JEHR

    1. Romney
    2. 2012-11-06 @11:09pm ET
    3. Romney-270; Obama-268
    4. Romney-51.8%; Obama-48.12%; Other-0.08%

  11. Garrett Pace

    Awesome Bold Predictions:

    A non-negligible number of disaffected Evangelicals will write in “Jesus” rather than supporting a LDS. Not enough to swing any state, but it will the most votes a historical figure ever gets in any election.


    Romney will win the popular vote but lose in the Electoral College. Esteem for that institution will increase for saving the nation from four years of being ruled by a Mormon.

  12. nobody

    As the Groucho Marxians all know (not to mention the Yogi Berrists): predictions are hard to make — especially about the future.

  13. curlydan

    1. Obama
    2. 11/7/12, 9AM EST(Fox calls it for Romney, later proved wrong)
    3. Obama 302, Romney 236
    4. Romney 47.9%, Obama 47.6%, Other 4.5%

    Hi-ho, I mean FU-Silver!

  14. optimader

    music for the thread

    Baloji – “Le Jour d’Après / Siku Ya Baadaye” (Indépendance Cha-Cha) (Eng Subtitles)


    prediction? Alf Landon goes alll the way!…

    Hey?… who are you? and where are my teeth?..I have to go to teh bathroommmm…oh… forget it

  15. Adam K

    1. Barack H. Obama
    2. 11:00:30 PM on 11/6/12
    3. Obama-309, Romney-222
    4. Romney 48.5%, Obama 48.0%, Green 2.5%, Libertarian/Other 1.0%

  16. tyaresun

    1. Obama
    2. 11/6 at 8:00PM Pacific Time
    3. Obama 313 Romney 225
    4. Obama 50.8%, Romney 48.3%, Third Parties 1.2%

  17. Opti

    1) Mr. Barack Hussein Obama
    2) 11/6/12 @ 11:35 ET
    3) Obama 303; Romney 235
    4) Obama 49.2%; Romney 47.9%; Others 2.9%

  18. Seal

    1. Zero-bama wins
    2. called at 9 pm est 11/26/2012 [Mercury is retrograde @ 6:04 est 11/5/12]
    3. O 285: R 253
    4. Romney 50%, O 49%

  19. Ms G

    Data point for all you NC’ers making book:

    Here in NYC we voted (for the first time in a Prez’l election) via scanners, instead of on the Tyrannosaurus Rex lever-machines, which we all loved and held dearly as we did the former NYC subway token.

    The procedure involved: filling bubbles for each office on the ballot with ink pen; slide it into scanner, which says “Thank you.” No paper record. The very nice gal operating the scanner said “don’t worry” when you scan your ballot it automatically transfers to the machine.

    In a world of Trust, maybe. So: no paper record. All cast votes exist (maybe) in a byte-cloud. What could go wrong?

    Or, more pertinently, for the NC book-makers — are you building your betting models with assumptions as to Tail Risks that X% of cast votes have been “translated” or “swallowed” by machines?

    (Black Swans and Sparkly Ponies: Yay!)

    1. ginnie nyc

      Ms G: When the new system was intro’d a few years ago, I was appalled. The ballot was printed in very tiny type on an 8×11″ paper; voters stood in front of wooden shelves, marked the ballot with pencils, and walked over to the ATM(-like) machine and inserted the paper in the slot. This is “electronic” voting.

      A very cheap plastic sheet-magnifier was available to enlarge the ballot. As someone whose one hand held the pencil, and the other my cane, I couldn’t use the pointless magnifier. There was nowhere to sit down – for anyone.

      I later complained to the Board of Elections about lack of seating – they insisted it was available. They implied I had a visual disability (20/20 with specs, sorry).

      I switched to absentee ballot after that.

  20. Chris Rogers


    My take on this election is similar to that of many other posters, that is it would be a crime for anyone with progressive of left leaning tendencies to vote for Obama – the supposed lesser of two evils, when in fact Obama has innocent blood on his hands whilst Romney has none – well, apart from his asset stripping, tax avoiding, off shoring of jobs greed inspired ways.

    Whilst I sincerely applaud all those who voted Jill Stein or Third Party, from a tactical consideration, it would be better for the USA in the long run if team Romney take the Whitehouse and this is only possible if undecided voters consider what is better for the USA in the long run – which basically is to deny Obama his much sought after second term, the one where his full Faustian compact with the Devil is revealed in its entirety – the so called ‘Grand Bargain’ that will herald the end of the social safety net in the USA.

    There can be no ‘Grand Bargain’ if the Republicans take the Whitehouse and no doubt, after two years of lunatic policies by Romney and his muppet VP, the Democrats would likely take both Houses of Congress with impressive majorities.

    To take stock, a Romney win affords all those who believe in a socially progressive democratic Republic time to marshall their forces in time for Congressional elections in two years time – further, it affords the likes of Jill Stein to establish a red/green alliance that can either recapture the Democratic Party for the forces of good, or establish a Third Party that can launch a serious assault on the Whitehouse in 2016 – all aided and abetted by the terrible hash of things a Romney administration would make, thus making the Republican brand as toxic as dioxin – obviously, if the Democrats fail to tack to the left, or are seen as enablers of Romney’s vision of America, a new Third Force would stand a credible chance of establishing a new alignment is US politics with clear lines of difference – rather than the present duopoly of power with no difference whatsoever between the two legacy forces.

    This is what a Romney win can achieve, an Obama win just delays the inevitable whilst destroying what remains of the remnants of the FDR era – this is the reality, as such, rather than being the lesser of evils, Obama is actually more evil than Romney, particularly if you happen to be poor, ill, unemployed, a civil servant or member of a minority grouping – both candidates only care for the 1%, at least Romney is honest about his detestation of 47% of the US electorate, whilst Obama is the Great Deceiver and giver of hopium, hopium to the masses to deaden their pain as he removes what little wealth remains of the vast majority and doles it out to his friends on Wall Street and large US multi nationals.

    1. Cynthia

      What’s needed is a four party race, not just a three party race. That way votes will be taken away from not just one of the dominant parties, i.e. the Democrats or the Republicans, but both of them. This would also eliminate the problem of third-party candidates being viewed as spoilers.

  21. tracy coyle

    Wow, only one other Romney prediction…

    1. Romney
    2. 12:10a, 11/7, Eastern, ABC
    3. Romney 342, Obama 196
    4. Romney 53.6%, Obama 45.3%, other 1.1%

  22. Paul Tioxon

    1. President Obama retains power, such as it is.

    2. The minute Mitt Romney was nominated.

    3. What ever Nate Silver says.

    4. Obama 50.666%, let a thousand years of darkness begin. 996 if I get to count the first administration as term served. Hail Satan , Hail Evil, cry Havoc and let loose the dogs of War.

  23. Winston

    I predict the only thing that matters to me:

    No matter which of these corporate/financial sector/pharma sector/insurance/petro industry/etc./etc./etc. shills wins, I LOSE.

  24. Maju

    I only feel able to predict the winner, which is more of the same. However I suspect that Romney will win because of some mystery last minute obscure matter in Ohio or Florida, just like Bush did.

    The popular participation will be very low but it is always that way in the USA where you have to dribble so much red tape only to get inscribed… and then it does not matter, does it?

    Finally, how can you be sure that your vote is counted even slightly better than in Ukraine using those electronic machines. I would simply refuse to take part in such an obvious farce.

  25. spigzone

    Romney wins.

    Everybody assumes Obama WANTS to win. I look at reality and conclude Obama would have to be an imbecile to want another four years. And he ain’t no imbecile. It’s the ‘why’ of the first debate performance. The fix is in, it just needed a ‘razor’ close race credibility, and the debate provided that.

    As for WHY … would you want to be a black man in the white house in a second term when the second, and far more severe, financial/economic crash hits, which will utterly and totally be blamed ON YOU, that long brewing and now becoming critical war with Iran cranks up in an attempt to save and strengthen the U.S. ‘petrodollar’ status and people start rioting in the streets precipitating the police state iron fist coming down in earnest, is waiting in the wings?

    They KNOW what’s coming. Hence the gutting of the Bill of RIghts and Habeus Corpus, and Obama want’s to be a retired elder stateman in Hawaii when it arrives. He’s had his ‘historic’ firsts, absolutely no reason to stick around for the riots and bloodbaths to come. The target on Obama’s back would be visible from space and several tens of thousands of higly trained ex-military rednecks convinced only your death can save their america ain’t a recipe for you or your family reaching old age.

    THINK about it.

    1. spigzone

      ps. 1. Obama did the prinmary to make absolutely sure no actual even remotely progressive challenger ever got a stab at the national microphone, much less a chance to become the democratic candidate.

      2. His last service to his masters will be puching through and signing the ‘grand bargain’.

      He has no doubt worked out a deal to delay the war with Iran until he leaves office, he just wouldn’t want it on his record, but I’m thinking that war starts between the time he signs the ‘grand bargain’ and the day Romney is sworn in and Fox news immediately pushes the term Obama’s War 24/7 and the MSM picks it up and thus it becomes.

      A faustian bargain he will come to bitterly regret.

  26. Blindsight

    1. Romney will be declared winner at 11:02 by CNN; then be retracted by 11:30.
    Obama will be declared winner at 11:03 pm by ABC, then be retracted by 11:31p.m.
    Goldman Sachs, et al, will be declared winner on Nov. 7, 2012 when the bell rings to open the NYSE for 4 more years of gov’t-sanctioned fraud and looting.

    2. Times above.
    3. Banksters 538; Everyone else 0
    4. Obama 49.1; Romney 49.1 Other 0.5 Hanging chads or lost bytes 0.3%

  27. ScottS

    1. The winner.
    The global inherited rich and their lackeys on Wall Street.

    2. The time that the first major network calls a winner.
    Fox will call for Romney before the first vote is returned.

    3. The electoral college totals.
    The total will be 5 for Romney, 4 for Obama.

    4. The popular vote, expressed as a percentage.
    45% establishment, 55% stay home or vote third party.

  28. David


    1. Obama
    2. 11/6/12 @ 10:30 PM E.S.T.
    3. Obama 290 to Romney 248
    4. Obama 49 %, Romney 47%, Other 4%

  29. ohmyheck

    Won’t know until November 17. Ten days is the official time to get provisional ballots counted, in Ohio at least.

    Will call it for Obama then.

  30. steve from virginia

    I can’t predict other than Obama will win easily and the Republicans won’t contest the outcome.

    A place to look is Europe, where many countries are mired in depressions with worse to come … and the establishment candidates keep winning election after election. The public wants the good ol’ days, they want them desperately, they would never take a chance on someone who might rock the boat … they won’t change horses … until it is too late for a change of horses to do any good.

    Obama represents zero-change. He’s Bush III. That’s why Romney is unlikely to win. The media wants a horse-race so they can milk the super-pacs … now, that’s done thank God!

  31. Capo Regime

    Romney by half to one percentage point. Declared on the 7th by noon. Watch the Capo knows. Two more house of reps seats for the repubs and one more in senate.

  32. ToivoS

    Oh dear I goofed. I thought Cali polls closed at 7:00 pm. Can I change my vote to 11:00 pm EST. Oh well.

Comments are closed.