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The Winners! – The Rostra/FlashReport General Election Contest

Monday, December 17, 2012
posted by Barry Jantz

Finally, the results have been tallied up in our General Election Contest (here are the questions) … and we have some winners!

I know you’ve been waiting breathlessly, now six weeks after election day.  My only excuse is that I knew we’d have a tie-breaker.  With many entrants guessing to a hundredth of a percent on the difference in the San Diego Mayor’s race, I knew it could be futile until the Registar’s count was complete to finalize my own results.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

We had about 40 participants. Although this go-round the number of folks getting seven to ten (out of ten) right did decline dramatically compared to past contests, the results are still very competitive.

First, some stats.  Admit it, you wouldn’t have entered if it weren’t for your penchant for sucking up data.

Out of the 10 initial questions, a whopping two-thirds got only five or fewer right, with nearly half of those guessing only one to three races correctly.  That could be a new low.  Of the one-third correctly guessing six or more answers, no one nailed more than eight correctly.

In the past we’ve had some getting 90 percent or more of the questions right.  Too many guessing Republican wins this time, no doubt.  Did I say that?

The specific questions:

1. San Diego Unified School District — Only about one-third of the entrants correctly guessed the Prop Z bond measure would win.  That means two-thirds were wrong, if you remember basic math.  If not, maybe an iPad will help.  Finance it over 30 years while you’re at it.

2. San Diego City Council District 1 — Despite the number of Republican-leaning peeps apparently basing a lot of their picks on what they hoped to be the outcomes, on this question almost half of you did anticipate that Councilmember Sherri Lightner would hold off a challenge from Republican Ray Ellis.

3. County Supervisor District 3 — Four of you predicted Dave Roberts would defeat Steve Danon for the open supe seat.  Four.  This, apparently, was the upset question of the contest.  My guess … this doesn’t make Steve feel any better.

4. State Senate, District 39 — On the other hand, only four of you incorrectly guessed former Assemblyman George Plescia on this one, with the huge majority answering Assemblyman Marty Block as the winner.  Sorry, George.

5. Congress, District 52 — Only seven correctly said challenger Scott Peters would defeat Brian Bilbray in this barn-burner of a race.  That’s more than four, BTW.

6. State Assembly, District 76 — Slightly less than two-thirds did pick winner Rocky Chavez over Sherry Hodges in the all-GOP matchup.  No one selected Charles Munger, just for the record.

7. Superior Court Judge, Office 25 — Almost 75 percent of the entrants correctly guessed Robert Amador would fend off Jim Miller for the open judgeship.

8. Oceanside Mayor — A dead heat, half guessing Jerry Kern and half taking the winner, incumbent Jim Wood. (When a Republican was going against an incumbent, those guessing for the GOP challenger were less sure of a victory, it seems, similar to the SD City Council question — #2 above.  Wood is a Republican, by the way, but Kern — like Ellis — had strong GOP backing and was endorsed by the local party).

9. San Diego Mayor — Only 25 percent of you correctly guessed Bob Filner would win the race against Carl DeMaio.

10. Congress, District 53Susan Davis (D) vs. Nick Popaditch (R), AND State Assembly, District 79Mary England (R) vs. Shirley Weber (D). On this one, you needed to indicate if both Republicans, both Democrats or one of each would win.  Seventy five percent said both Dems would win, correctly.  Nearly everyone else guessed one of each.

Tie-Breaker A — This was only if needed (which it was), to guess whether a majority of the local school bond or bond re-authorization measures on the ballot in San Diego County would pass or fail.  Seven of the eleven measures did pass — just under 50 percent of the participants guessed that would happen.  Those who guessed the majority would fail — you did know this was a presidential general election, right?  Jes’ askin’.

Tie-Breaker B — This was needed as well.  Of the competing statewide tax measures, which would do best, Prop 30 or Prop 38?  All but five of you correctly guessed Prop 30, which passed, with 38 losing.  Apparently, this wasn’t much of a tie-breaking question.

Tie-Breaker C — It did indeed come down to this, the difference in percentage of the vote between the San Diego mayoral candidates, with order of their finish irrelevant.  I encouraged you all to guess to a tenth of a point, just in case, and many did take it to a hundredth.  The final difference between Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio was 4.98 percent.  About a quarter of the guesses were in the four to five percent range, but I won’t even begin to look at the results to see how many of them thought that difference would be with Filner on the short end.

Kristine Alessio, the newly installed La Mesa councilmember, was closest to the mark on this, picking 5.00 percent (technically, she didn’t make it into the tie-breakers, however).

WINNERS and Mentions…

The “I Agree with You Always and Forever Award” to spouses Ingrid Rider and Steve Rider — their separate entries each had the same number of correct answers and tie-breakers, as well as the exact same guess on the last one, right to a hundredth of a percent.  Amazingly of like mind, those two.  Obviously, no differences of opinion in that household.

Those getting six of the 10 initial questions right and thus deserving of a mention, if not quite an Honorable one — former Chula Vista Councilman Scott Alevy, La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools Trustee Bill Baber, Santee Councilman Jack Dale, Joe Mackey, Don Parent, and Marc Schaefer.  Also guessing a very respectable 4.6 percent on the mayoral tie-breaker was Parent.

Seven out of 10 questions correct — FIVE of you: Lani Lutar, Christine Moore, John Nienstedt, Leon Page and Gary Rotto, with every one of them also getting the first two tie-breakers.  Superb work.  Of that field, Moore, who won the primary contest here by guessing everything right, was the closest on the final DeMaio-Filner tie-breaking question with 4.2 percent (as noted, 4.98 was the final difference).  Ms. Moore takes home third place this time, I’m sure quite a disappointment to her.  I still owe her lunch for the primary, however.

Eight right — Both Leah Hemze and Miriam Raftery locked down eight of 10 correctly.  Then, they both hit the spot on the first two tie-breakers, thus getting ten out of the first twelve questions dead on.  Busting the tie, Hemze guessed 2.1 percent on the final question, Raftery 3.5 percent, with the latter being a tad closer to the actual 4.98 percent answer.

So, the winners, with full bragging rights:

First Place (and an Albondigas lunch on me) — Miriam Raftery

Second Place — Leah Hemze (good going for your first time!)

Third Place — Christine Moore (all in a day’s work)

Congratulations all and thanks for playing!  See you next time.

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5 Responses to “The Winners! – The Rostra/FlashReport General Election Contest”

  1. Wow, Barry, very cool! Maybe I should try handicapping horse races next time. :-) So when’s the next Albondigas lunch?

  2. Good question Miriam.

  3. Chrtistine Moore says:

    Nice. I’ll happily take third place because I’m delighted to be able to retain bragging rights about beating Marc Schaefer–one of the smartest guys I know in politics. ;) Marc–care to make a side bet on the South County special elections in ’13?

  4. Steve Rider Steve Rider says:

    Thanks for sharing about Ingrid and I. I actually asked her to let me “review” her picks before submitting. Those that know me, particularly come NCAA march madness time, are familiar with me taking advantage of submitting more than one entry by hedging against less predictable outcomes. However, those that know my fiery Italian wife, champion of individual liberty and her disdain for being told what to do, can only imagine how enthusiastic she was about me adjusting her picks to increase the chances of one of us winning…

  5. Barry Jantz Barry Jantz says:

    The next East County Albondigas lunch will be … next year. Ok, in January.

    There are three other “regional” Albondigas lunch events around the county — if anyone is interested I’ll put you in touch with the coordinators.

    Steve and Ingrid: If you win doing that at some point, the rules are unclear as to whether you have to share your meal. I’ll check with the regulating body.

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