Whoot! In Box nails Electoral College prediction

This journalist is ready for his fifteen minutes of fame. Photo: Mark Kurtz

I’ve been accused today of triumphalism, so I thought I might as well indulge in some.

On October 30th, I predicted that Barack Obama would win a second turn and I laid out this set of numbers:

Come election day, score my prognostication skills against this mark:  Obama wins the popular vote 49%-48% and he captures the electoral college by a 332-206 margin.

For now, at least, with Florida in Obama’s column, that’s exactly the mark the Democrat hit.  I also made a prediction about the reason for his victory:

On election day, the ground game advantage that Barack Obama’s campaign has been bragging about will turn out to be real.

Snap!  And I also laid out predictions about the exact map that would get Obama to 332 electoral college votes.

To hit this mark, Obama will win the states that are now essentially tied, including Colorado, Florida and Virginia.

Obama’s margin will be extremely narrow in a surprising number of places — Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin — but he will eke out wins.


I will acknowledge that I got the popular vote percentage wrong by ONE STINKING POINT, putting the final tally at 49-48% rather than the actual outcome of 50-48%.

But I only acknowledge it to point out how amazingly close I was.  I know, I know, shameful gloating is never pretty.  And yes, it’s always better to be lucky than good.

But when you have a day when you beat Larry Sabato, Nate Silver and most of the truly talented punditocracy, I say you’re owed a victory lap.

In my case, that means taking myself out to the local diner with a good sci-fi novel and ordering a big breakfast with a side of bacon…but you get the idea.


19 Responses to “Whoot! In Box nails Electoral College prediction”

Leave a response
  1. Anita says:

    Congratulations, Brian!

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  2. michael coffey says:

    Nate Silver better watch out…

    Hat’s off to you, Brian. I thought it was obama in a runaway for a while, bigger than 2008; then i feared Romney would win. I even had a vivid dream monday night–i could make out a newspaper headline that said “A Stunner” with a deck that mentioned Wisconsin and Ohio. If that had come true, I’d have a new career as clairvoyant–but I’d be living in Canada.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  3. Terence says:

    Well done! Gloat away…

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  4. wj says:

    Booyah, brother!

    Does this mean we can expect four more years of your political analysis?

    Hope so.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  5. Here’s a round of applause from me. () () () () () () () () () [Hands clapping]

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  6. Mervel says:

    ahah , I used your predictions in office conversations! Of course now I am a political genius at work and at home! Thanks!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  7. Mervel says:

    Now I just say well Brian Mass says……

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  8. Mervel says:


    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. dave says:

    I’d like to also congratulate and thank you for reporting on the realities of this election early and often.

    I recall blog posts from you as far back as August where you talked honestly about the challenges and hurdles Romney faced. So many other outlets avoided that type of analysis and instead did everything they could to create the impression that there was nail biting, neck and neck drama from start to finish – I have to assume in an effort to drum up ratings.

    Given the amount of comments (and I assume hits and visits to the site) that your posts received, I think you showed that you can grab an audience’s interest and foster real discussion without those theatrics.

    I know some In Boxers grew weary of the focus on national politics, but I found your approach to be an important and valuable resource. That I was able to get this from a local source, made it even better.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  10. oa says:

    Obviously you were in cahoots with the takers and the socialists who stole this election, Brian. And the people in berets, which is the scariest kind of hat. So I withhold my congratulations. And I will never comment again.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  11. TomL says:

    You made some risky calls, Brian. I thought you were being too optimistic about Obama’s EVs. Congratulations on nailing it!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  12. Kathy says:

    Giving credit when it’s due! Congratulations!

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. Congratulations, I guess. But unless you were smart enough to put money on it beforehand, it really doesn’t matter.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  14. TomL says:

    Interestingly, the polling by NPR was the second poorest out of 28 polling organizations at predicting the results of the Presidential election :

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Ellen Rocco says:

    We hired him ’cause he told me he got a B+ in statistical analysis.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  16. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    And all this time I thought NCPR hired him because he has such a smooth radio voice. Sort of like Public Radio’s version of “The Velvet Fog.”

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    You’re never going to get a job at Fox News with those kind of skills. Dial it back from 11.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. newt says:


    Very late comment due to traveling, but this is crucially important: You appear to have beaten THE MIGHTY NATE! (I’m not double checking, but I think he had Obama with a paltry 313 or something like that).
    Nate, you had a nice run but

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Okay, okay. let’s not get carried away here. He also thought that the North Country was going to return to its conservative roots.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0