The 2014 primary election didn’t merit many surprises – yet predicting the results in a handful of marquee races proved quite challenging.
Only nine of the 130 entries in the Dome Election Contest answered more than half the questions correctly. (Apologies if I made it too hard.)
The winner had 9 of 15 questions correct. And that winner is ... Jim Blaine.
Blaine is chief of staff to Republican Senate leader Phil Berger. He won by correctly predicting (within 1 percentage point) the vote for three of the four top U.S. Senate candidates.
Never miss a local story.
Blaine wins a N&O prize pack: the much-coveted comics umbrella and an insulated water bottle.
Two who tied for second place: Weston Burleson and Perry Woods, who both had 8 correct answers and nailed the tie-breaker (voter turnout).
Eight people finished with eight points. Another 16 – including this Dome scribe – finished with seven.
Here’s a few stats from the collective wisdome of the N.C. political echo chamber:
• In the Senate race, 80 people predicted no runoff. The easiest percentage to guess: Heather Grant’s 5 percent. Sixteen of the 130 correctly guessed Thom Tillis would hit close to 45 percent with 100 predicting he would finish lower.
• The upset – if you can call it that – is Clay Aiken’s narrow win in the 2nd Congressional District. A slim majority predicted Keith Crisco would win.
• The GOP races in the 7th and 3rd congressional districts were apparently clear, with more than 75 percent of those who entered picking David Rouzer and Walter Jones, respectively.
• A tricky one: Democrat Kay Hagan’s winning percentage. Two guessed the 77 percent dead-on and only 13 received credit for the question. Most thought it would be much higher.
As for the bonus question, on the alcohol referendum in Bladen County, it failed at 56 percent against.
If you didn’t win, get ready for the big contest ahead of the November election. Thanks to all for playing!