Iowa Highscores

Congratulations to everyone who made a prediction!

The work for this is included in the spreadsheet Iowa Caucuses Predictions. If I’ve made any errors or overlooked anything, please let me know!

To make the highscores, someone had to get the winner correct for Dems, or the top three in order for Reps.

Without further ado …

Highscores, Dems (using latest Des Moines Register tally, which could change if there is a recount)

Winner, prediction, absolute %s was … Nick. (50-48, for an average percentage point error of 0.86)

(Note: Dylan K. gave a prediction or 45-44-1, which is obviously a mistake. I am guessing he meant to say 50-49-1, in which case he would have had an average percentage point error of 0.36. If he has a political consultancy firm, you might want to invest. If he has an accounting firm, perhaps not.)

Winner, prediction, relative %s was … Rophil. (48-48, which was 0.29 from the actual spread of 0.29%) (average absolute percentage point error 1.72)

All the people who called the correct winner on the Dems side, ordered by ave. absolute percentage point error

  • Nick (0.86)
  • John Doe (1.72)
  • Rophil (1.72)
  • Dominic Bay (2.22)
  • Toby (2.22)
  • Robert (2.72)
  • William (2.72)
  • Jonathan (3.22)
  • Jesse (3.22)
  • Lukie (3.22)
  • Mitchell (3.36)
  • Aaron (3.36)
  • Dylan (4.36)
  • Dylan K. (5.22, but see note above)

(For comparison, the much lauded Nate Silver would have made this list (48.3-45.1), and had an ave. absolute percentage point error of 3.02, which would have gotten him in 8th here.)

Highscores, Reps

Winner, prediction, absolute %s was … Jesse. (27-25-17, for an average percentage point error of 2.48)

Winner, prediction, relative %s was … John Doe. (25-23-18, a spread of 7 which was 2.45 from the actual spread of 4.55 from 27.65-24.31-23.1) (average absolute percentage point error 3.02)

All the people who called the correct winner on the Reps side, ordered by ave. absolute percentage point error

  • Jesse (2.48)
  • Jacob (2.71)
  • John Doe (3.02)
  • Jonathan (4.24)

(For comparison, the much lauded Nate Silver didn’t get the right ordering (24.3-25.6-18.1, so wouldn’t have made the list), and had an ave. absolute percentage point error of 3.02, which would have gotten him tied for 3rd here.)

3 Responses to Iowa Highscores

  1. Dylan K February 4, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    I actually did make a mistake in writing down the results, but not the one you suggested. After putting it down, I realized that a total of 46-45-1 would be more appropriate, but by then it was too late.

    No, my big mistake was being bullish on the number of uncommitted voters, for both Democrats and Republicans. I hmmed and hawed on that point before deciding that, well, it’s been a feature of past primaries so I wasn’t going to divide those up and instead leave them off. It was a mistake, but one I own fully.

    (Though I am surprised how well I did past the first three Republicans. Sure, my Rubio prediction was waaaay off, but it just means that all my uncommitted voters went to him. Basically, reverse Trump and Cruz as I was tempted to do and give the uncommitted voters to Rubio and I would have done quite well. But, well, learning experiences.)

  2. anthony_270admin February 4, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

    @Dylan K.,

    Aha! Thanks for this correction.

  3. John Doe February 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    I’ll admit, I’m surprised I came as close as I did on the GOP predictions. No 12-candidate race is easy to forecast.

    I’d say my mistake was in failing to predict how much Rubio would rise. I had him at 18, or about 5% below his actual vote tally.

    On the Dem side, I felt reasonably confident about the margins I listed, but probably shouldn’t have assumed 2% of the vote would go to “other” candidates given the structure of the Dem caucuses (anyone with less than 15% of a precinct deemed “nonviable,” precinct delegates rather than votes tallied). Was I asleep when I wrote that? Did someone hit me over the head with a rock?

    O’Malley supporters appear to have gone over to Sanders in droves after they were ruled nonviable, which probably accounts for the small margin of victory.

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