I have tried to avoid doing this all day, but I just can’t help myself. In Al Kamen’s column today in the Washington Post, he identifies me as one of only three people (among many hundreds of entrants way back in September) who was among his top 10 both in predicting Obama’s victorious vote percentage and his number of electoral votes. It re-ignites a string of my prognosticative successes that was broken, badly, in 2006, when early, early in the year I was one of the first to say Republicans could actually lose the House but then never moved from that and ended up predicting the GOP would keep the House majority by a single seat — missing by a whopping 19 seats! Ugh! I deservedly ate a lot of crow then.
Anyway, it was a nice return to Kamen’s column, because in 1998 he wrote a note in the same WPost space calling me the “Oracle of Mobile” (where I then worked) for being the only one in print in the country to correctly predict that the GOP would lose House seats that year (and to give the exact number of seats at that).
The rest of my predictive record is as follows: Two weeks after Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, I wrote a memo for my then-boss Bob Livingston explaining why Republicans were likely to win a House majority in 1994 and, for that matter, why he would eventually pass Newt Gingrich for the speakership.
In 1994, Bob and I wrote, in advance, an election-day column for the Washington Times that said the Dems that day were going the way of Ozymandias. This was, of course, as Charlie Cook and others were saying there was no way Republicans would do SO well as to actually win a majority.
In 1996, I made no predictions. But in 1998, see above –and that year I also was right on the money on Senate seat numbers. In 2000, I got the House and Senate numbers EXACTLY right again. In 2002, I got the House exactly right and the Senate I missed by only one (I let myself be talked into predicting a New Hampshire win by Jeanne
Shaheen, on the assurances of the Register¹s political editor, who is a New Hampshire native.)
In 2004, I again got the Senate right, and finally missed on a very weakly worded, hesitant prediction on the House. I also called the Bush win far in advance, and missed only one state, Wisconsin, which Kerry won only by a tiny margin (and after some shenanigans with Democratic workers flattening the tires of GOP vans, among other questionable activities).
All of this is documentable. Finally, although this is NOT provable in print, I hope that all these years later my three witnesses will remember that I predicted the EXACT percentage of the vote that Nazi David Duke would win against Bennett Johnston for the Senate in 1990.
Then, also this year, I was clearly the first one in print anywhere to say that Anh “Joseph” Cao actually had a real chance to upset William Jefferson in New Orleans.
So I’m feeling my oats right now. Somebody needs to send me to to one of those head-shrinking outfits to keep my hat size from growing too big….