Ten Miles Square

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December 28, 2012 10:50 AM Predictions

By Jonathan Bernstein

Dave Weigel has a post up detailing the predictions he got wrong this year. It’s admirable…not so much because he’s taking responsibility, but because of the effort required. Re-reading my own stuff? No thanks.

Now, I do try to keep track of what I’ve predicted and write about it here if I get it wrong (Tommy Thompson losing his primary? Oops). Fortunately, I think I escaped the election season with relatively few embarrassing ones. Mostly, that’s because I try to steer clear of predictions! Not because I’m afraid to (in fact, predictions are pretty popular, and I’m pretty sure that any ratio of correct calls better than, say, Dick Morris levels would be a net plus on that level), but because I just don’t really see that as what this blog is about. I mean, I do it sometimes, but I’m not looking to. Really, what matters is whether my analysis is correct and helps readers understand what’s going on, not whether I can express any of that in terms of specific predictions.

On the other hand, I had a really nice run in the primaries when the Post included me in their primary-day predictions roundup. Granted, it was basically just reading polls and beyond that total luck, but it was fun! Also, I think I’ve mentioned this one already, but on a rare one in which I totally stuck my neck out this year — Todd Akin — I got it right. But I’m afraid that what WaPo came calling and asked me to participate in their predictions for 2013, I pretty much bailed, and went with a trite political scientist smart-ass reply (although worded politely, I hope). Advantage: it will be correct! Disadvantage: pointing out obvious stuff that always happens really shouldn’t count as a prediction, really.

At any rate: if anyone noticed a prediction I made this year that I got wrong and haven’t written about, let me know and I’ll highlight it.

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.