In the week before the April 7 election, we tried to cut the tension with a contest to see who could best predict the results. The contest closed at 5 pm the night before. The results have now been tabulated:
Under the rules established, the title of Big Enchilada of Evanston Election Gurus goes to....Chris Ernst! The runner-up: Tom Hagglund.
Because of the weighting we gave to the mayoral race, Chris started out with a big lead, scoring 50 points for 1st place in that contest. His prediction: Tisdahl 55%, Dinges 25%, Lindwall 10%, Opdycke 10% (actual numbers: Tisdahl 55%, Dinges 12%, Lindwall 8%, Opdycke 17%).
Other high scorers in the mayoral race:
2nd place : anonymous (but on information and belief, Daniel Biss)
3rd : Tom Hagglund
4th: Jeff Smith
5th: Jim Hughes
Best mayoral turnout prediction:
Elena Pappas (prediction: 10,000; actual = 10,307)
2nd : Chris Ernst
3rd : Jim Hughes
The aldermanic races were spread around a little more. Of the contested races, Tom Hagglund had the best picks in three of them , pretty impressive:
Best prediction, 1st Ward:
Chris Ernst (predicting Fiske 65%, Wollin 35%; actual = 63-37)
Runner-up: Brian DeConinck
Note that while some termed the 1st Ward results an "upset," Chris nailed it and fully half of our entrants called that race for Fiske.
Best prediction, 4th Ward:
Tom Hagglund (predicting Wilson 57%, Dudnik 23%, Hartenstein 20%; actual = 51-26-23)
Runner-up: Brian DeConinck
Best prediction, 5th Ward:
Tom Hagglund (predicting Holmes 73%, Dortch 27%; actual = 75-25)
Runner-up: Jim Hughes
Best prediction, 6th Ward:
Jim Donohue (predicting Tendam 40%, Sloane 36%, Hart 24%; actual = 41-36-23)
Runner-up: Jeff Smith (predicting Tendam 39%, Sloane 37%, Hart 24%)
Best prediction, 7th Ward:
Tom Hagglund (predicting Grover 60%, Zbesko 35%, O'Connor 5%; actual = 59-32-9)
Runner-up: Jeff Smith
Best prediction, 9th Ward:
Tie: Chris Ernst (predicting Burrus 55%, Peterson 35%, Drennan 10%); Elena Pappas (predicting Burrus 66%, Peterson 25%, Drennan 9%; actual = 59-28-13)
Best prediction, Assessor:
Brian DeConinck (predicting Wilson 70%, Strobeck-Eckersall 30%; actual = 72-28)
Runner-up: Harvey Saver
Our scoring overweighted the mayoral and gave no points for 3d, 4th, or 5th in the aldermanics. If this was the PGA tour or NASCAR circuit, I'd be buying myself an enchilada, as I was, overall, off by the fewest total percentage points in all 8 races + turnout. Since I wouldn't want the appearance of impropriety, and hate to eat alone, I am very happy we didn't score it this way :)
The mean prediction for the mayoral race, averaging all entries:
Tisdahl 40.3%, Dinges 24.7%, Opdycke 22.6%, Lindwall 12.4%
Three anonymous persons completed the entire survey but did poorly.
Five anonymous persons completed the mayoral but not the aldermanic portion and one of them came in second in the mayoral, the others did so-so.
We hope to honor Chris at a dinner To Be Named Later. In the meantime, I am sure he is available as a soothsayer at reasonable rates, at least until he hears of his prowess.