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Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Here's How My Predictions Fared

I got all the easy ones and broke about even on the hard ones -- which is better than the Republican Party did nationally, by the way.

Shall we see how I did in my little election guide, while the night is still . . . night? Here's a rundown of my predictions and the actual results, based on unofficial results at KSL.com, KUTV.com, and CBS.com.

No Brainers

I was right:

  • US Senator Orrin Hatch was re-elected by a large margin.
  • All three House incumbents won handily (Cannon, Bishop, and Matheson).
  • My state representative, John Dougall, won easily.
  • Republicans retain majorities in both houses of the Utah Legislature.
  • Incumbent Republican Utah County Commissioner Steve White won handily.

I went 8-0 here, but a reasonably observant houseplant could have done as well. I'm not even counting the judicial retention votes or unopposed Utah County races.

Real Questions

I was wrong:

  • Both Alpine School District propositions, the bond and the leeway, passed by about a two-to-one margin. Admittedly, in predicting defeat for both, I was far out on a limb, but I'm still surprised by the margin.
  • I went just as far out on a limb in predicting the Republicans would hold the House, which they did not. They didn't lose as many seats as is typical in a president's sixth year, however.

I was right:

  • Challenger Tim Osborn beat Alpine School Board incumbent Keith Swain. On one hand, this suggest that the math malcontents are more than a small group, which everyone but the School Board already knew. Depending on how you look at it, every Alpine School Board race where an incumbent was challenged went to the challenger. Still, I don't think Swain campaigned very aggressively, and I wonder if he was caught by surprise by Osborn's coming to life in the last two weeks before the election. So this (combined with the propositions' passage) may not actually mean that voters wanted to spank the School Board without leaving the District hamstrung with respect to needed growth.
  • The "opinion question" asking about a sales tax increase for transit in Utah County passed handily.
  • The American Fork secondary water bond passed by a reasonable margin, neither overwhelming nor particularly narrow.
  • The state constitutional amendment (that little property tax question) passed by a large margin.

The jury is still out:

  • Three US Senate races are still too close to call: Missouri, Montana, and Virginia. If all three go Democratic, which seems likely, the Democrats will have a 51-to-49 majority in the Senate, and my prediction that the Republicans will retain control will have proven wrong. If two go that way, Senate President and US Vice President Dick Cheney will be spending a lot of time in the Senate chamber breaking tie votes.

So on the questions that were really questions, I'm 4-3, with one unknown and the likelihood of ending 4-4. A reasonably competent coin-flipper could do as well. (See, I told you not to take my predictions too seriously.)

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