Monday, February 6, 2012

The results for Prognostication #5:
The Nevada Caucuses

The Republicans finally finished tallying the results of the caucus they had on Saturday.  They tweeted the final results at 2:00 am Monday morning, about 27 hours after the last precinct closed up. (Most precincts had everything done by 7:00 pm Saturday, but some in Las Vegas finished at 11:00.)

27 hours to count about 33,000 votes.  This does not scream "competence" or "honest elections". Just to make matters worse, only about 1.3% of Nevadans were involved in this democratic process. By comparison, Sharron Angle, the ridiculous Tea Party candidate for Senate in 2010, got over 70,000 votes in the Republican primary.

As a person who has worked at a polling station and usually votes by absentee ballot, I can say without fear of contradiction that caucuses suck.

In any case, the final numbers are in and there are no big surprises. Mitt Romney won handily, Newt Gingrich was a distant second, Dr. Ron Paul (the only candidate who can save us from the Daleks) finished third and Rick Santorum was a distant fourth. The only drama was what the margins would be. Here are the final results.

Romney 50.0%(Both of us high, but I beat Silver by 0.8%)
  Gingrich 21.1%(Again, both of us high. Silver beats me by 0.4%)
Paul 18.7%(Both of us too low. Silver picks up 1.5%)
Santorum 9.9%(Both of us too low. I pick up 1.4%)
No vote 0.3%(Silver said 0%, I said 0.5%, I'm 0.1% closer)
Once again, my simpler method wins the prediction contest, 88.8% to 88.4%. This brings my record to 3-2.
There are two non-binding state caucuses held tomorrow in Colorado and Minnesota. Right now, the only fresh data is from PPP in both cases, so unless another company releases a poll between now and tomorrow morning, both Silver and I will be dealing with a single set of data in each case. If you follow this link, you'll see that Rick Santorum appears to be Romney's main challenger in both cases.  I'll publish my predictions and Silver's Tuesday morning and give the results on Wednesday, assuming people in Colorado and Minnesota are more competent at running elections than people in Nevada.

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