In order to become a wizard, you must first apprentice to a wizard, and the acolytes who followed Nate Silver’s lead did very well in The Awl’s first quadrennial electoral college pool. Out of 160 entries received, 9 of you predicted the map exactly. (That’s right: we’re calling Florida for Obama. I mean, it’s Friday.) This means that 5.6% of this website’s readers have documented psychic powers. You can’t argue with that. It’s math.
Of the people who predicted the map exactly, 78% overestimated Obama’s popular vote total by several million votes, reflecting a wildly inflated expectation for voter turnout. The remaining 22% didn’t guess Obama’s popular vote at all, reflecting a disdain for rules and authority. While we applaud the rebel spirit of these semi-winners, we award them nothing.
So here is the deal, let’s just blame the hurricane for this one. WE’RE CALLING IT A TIE.
The next closest tiebreaker guess came from one just absolutely swell, completely terrific reader, James Martin Cole, who guessed that “Obama wins 332-206, and captures 63,810,000 total votes.” According to “Google,” which is basically the U.S. government, Obama currently stands with 61,210,365 votes.
But there was one other guesser! Who was even closer! And his name is Benjamin Hart, and clearly he is a genius, or is actually embodied inside Nate Silver right now. His guess was 63,246,543 votes. Eerie. Promote this man today. Marry him. Something!
So while there are still many votes to be counted, we do not believe there are enough outstanding ballots to change the fact that this guess comes nearest the actual count. So congratulations, to both Benny Benjy Benjamin and Jimmy James Jim-bob! You are BOTH America’s Next Top Wizard. The Awl will make two $250 donations in your names, one each: one to the Henry Street Settlement and another to the Red Hook Initiative. But the real prize is the Obama Blingee above. So tasteful.