Election scorecard: Evaluating pundits' electoral predictions

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN, JUSTIN BERRIER, ERIC SCHROECK & CHELSEA RUDMAN

Pundits made a lot of predictions in the days leading up to the midterm elections, some of them right, some of them wrong, and some of them outright laughable. Media Matters shows you how your political "experts" actually fared:

Bill Bennett

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

CNN's State of the Union

"Angle beats Reid, I think."

X

Oct. 31

CNN's State of the Union

"[T]he marijuana initiative goes down in California."

X

Oct. 31

CNN's State of the Union

"Yes, 70 [GOP pick-ups for the House]"

X

Oct. 31

CNN's State of the Union

"[Y]es, 10 [GOP pick-ups in the Senate]"

X

Dick Morris

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

Hannity

"I think they're going to definitely win nine seats in the Senate."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

John Hoeven will win the North Dakota U.S. Senate race

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

John Boozman will win the Arkansas U.S. Senate race

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

Dan Coates will win the Indiana U.S. Senate race

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

Pat Toomey will win the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

Colorado U.S. Senate seat is "another takeaway."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

Ron Johnson will win the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

Sharon Angle will win the Nevada U.S. Senate race

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

Mark Kirk will win the Illinois U.S. Senate race

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

Dino Rossi will win the Washington U.S. Senate race

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"[Y]ou're going to have 100 new faces in the Republican caucus out of 250."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"The historical record is 74 seats set in 1922. I'm confident we're past that."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"[D]on't count out Linda McMahon in Connecticut."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"Don't count out Christine O'Donnell in Delaware."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"Don't count out your next guest, Joe DioGuardi in New York."

X

Sarah Palin

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

Fox News' America's Election HQ

"It's still possible that [O'Donnell] would win."

X

Karl Rove

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

Fox News special election coverage

"Kanjorski of Pennsylvania who I think is a nine-term member, I think he's gone."

X

Oct. 31

Fox News special election coverage

"Earl Pomeroy who's like a 13-term member from North Dakota is going to be gone."

X

James Williams

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

MSNBC's special election coverage

"[T]he Democrats lose a total, a net of 35 seats in the House."

X

Oct. 31

MSNBC's special election coverage

"I think the Democrats end up at 55 seats, maybe 54 with the Russ Feingold seat now being in jeopardy."

X

John Fund

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

Fox News' Journal Editorial Report

"I think Fiorina will win."

X

Stephen Moore

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

Fox News' Journal Editorial Report

"I think the Republicans, by the way, will win [Nevada]... I think that Harry Reid is going to lose his seat as Senate majority leader."

X

Oct. 31

Fox News' Journal Editorial Report

"I think the Republicans, by the way, will win [Kentucky]."

X

Hilary Rosen

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

CNN's American Morning

"I actually think that the Democrats can hold the House here."

X

Bill Kristol

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

Fox News Sunday

"It's going to be 65 to 70" in the House."

X

Oct. 31

Fox News Sunday

Kristol bets Williams that Patty Murray loses in Washington

X

Ed Rollins

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

CNN's special election coverage

Angle's "going to win and I think she win by four or five points."

X

Nov. 2

American Morning

"Fifty-five Republicans, I think, win in the House."

X

Nov. 2

American Morning

"[E]ight seats in the Senate" for the GOP

X

Nov. 1

American Morning

"I think [Republicans are] going to win seven or eight Senate seats and still a possibility of sweeping it all tonight."

X

Erick Erickson

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 2

CNN election coverage

"I think definitely you're going to see ... Rand Paul in."

X

Nov. 2

CNN election coverage

"I think definitely you're going to see ... Marco Rubio in."

X

Nov. 2

CNN election coverage

"You'll see Pat Toomey win."

X

Nov. 2

CNN election coverage

"I suspect you'll see Ken Buck pull out Colorado."

X

Nov. 2

CNN election coverage

"Ron Johnson in Wisconsin" will win

X

Larry Sabato

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

Fox News coverage

Jenna Lee, introducing an interview with Sabato: "On the House side, he sees the GOP gaining 55 seats."

X

Nov. 1

Fox News coverage

Lee, introducing an interview with Sabato: "On the Senate side he sees Republicans gaining eight seats."

X

Nov. 1

Fox News coverage

Lee, introducing an interview with Sabato: "[Y]ou've got very close races in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada." Sabato: "Right now I have all four going Republican, all four of them."

X

Bill Press

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

The Ed Show

"I call it for Harry Reid."

X

Nov. 1

The Ed Show

"I think [McAdams] wins it. He'll come in second in the popular vote. I think enough votes could be thrown out for Murkowski that Scott McAdams is going to be the next senator or maybe Lisa Murkowski."

X

Jay Newton-Small

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 2

CNN Newsroom

"[Y]ou're looking at Terry Branstad for governor in Iowa"

X

Nov. 2

CNN Newsroom

"[Y]ou're looking at ... Kelly Ayotte for Senate in New Hampshire"

X

Nov. 2

CNN Newsroom

"[Y]ou're looking at ... Nikki Haley for governor in South Carolina"

X

Nov. 2

CNN Newsroom

"[Y]ou're looking at ... Sharron Angle for Senate in Nevada"

X

Jonathan Alter

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

MSNBC's Countdown

"I guess I think that Reid will win by a hair."

X

Rachel Maddow

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show

"Republicans likely to take control of the House."

X

Bill O'Reilly

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

The O'Reilly Factor

"You know, [Kasich is] going to win in Ohio, you know, against Strickland."

X

Bob Beckel

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

Fox News' Hannity

"I'm willing to bet that Reid gets reelected."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"My own count is anywhere from 49 to 67" GOP House pick-ups.

X

Sean Hannity

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

Hannity

"Russ Feingold is not going to be reelected."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"It looks like they're going to have a Republican governor" in Wisconsin

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"We know certain flips are happening. North Dakota is certainly one of them."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"Arkansas is number three."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"Indiana is another."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

Hannity bets Beckel $1000 that Beckel's wrong for predicting "Reid gets reelected"

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"I think that when you get...Rand Paul... in the Senate and you bring in all these new House members with all this new energy and blood that have been motivated to run by the Tea Party Movement, I think the establishment is going to capitulate to them."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"I think that when you get... Joe Miller... in the Senate and you bring in all these new House members with all this new energy and blood that have been motivated to run by the Tea Party Movement, I think the establishment is going to capitulate to them."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"I think that when you get...Sharron Angle in the Senate and you bring in all these new House members with all this new energy and blood that have been motivated to run by the Tea Party Movement, I think the establishment is going to capitulate to them."

X

Nov. 1

Hannity

"So we're going to hear tomorrow night FOX News projects that Barney Frank has been ousted as congressman in Massachusetts?"

X

Howard Fineman

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 2

Hardball

"I think Kirk`s probably going to win it."

X

Nov. 2

Hardball

"[Palin] will lose with O`Donnell."

X

Bill Maher

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

CNN's The Situation Room

"I don't think [O'Donnell's] going to win that election."

X

Ari Fleischer

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

Larry King Live

"Republicans are going to keep that [Florida Senate] seat"

X

Nov. 1

Larry King Live

Rand Paul is "going to win in Kentucky by it looks like a big margin."

X

Nov. 1

Larry King Live

"My prediction now is that Republicans are going to gain 57 seats in the House."

X

Nov. 1

Larry King Live

"Republicans are going to gain ... seven in the Senate."

X

SE Cupp

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

Larry King Live

"I'm so glad you brought up the governor's races. It's not just about Congress. Republicans could end this with 35 state houses. ... So it really isn't just about taking control of the Congress. This -- you know, the governor's races are going to be incredibly impactful over the next two years."

X

Marc Hill

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

Larry King Live

"I think it will be more about like 35 to 40 seats" for the GOP in the House.

X

John Heilemann

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

Hardball

"[I]t looks like the Democrats are going to keep the governorship or going to get the governorships in New York"

X

Oct. 31

Hardball

"[I]t looks like the Democrats are going to keep the governorship or going to get the governorships in ... California."

X

Oct. 31

Hardball

"[I]t looks like the Democrats are going to keep the governorship or going to get the governorships in ...Florida."

X

Oct. 31

Hardball

On GOP Senate pickups: "I`d say seven or eight"

X

Oct. 31

Hardball

Murkowski "will be re-elected."

X

Nov. 1

Hardball

"I think over 60 seats now" for GOP in the House

X

Nov. 1

Hardball

"I think eight or nine in the Senate" for GOP pick-ups

X

Nov. 2

Hardball

"I think [Boxer] is now safe."

X

Nov. 2

Hardball

"I think there's very little question that Meg Whitman is going to lose to Jerry Brown"

X

Chris Matthews

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

Hardball

"I am in the 70 and 10 category right now."

X

Nov. 2

Hardball

"My hunch would be with that person you talked to [who said that Manchin will lose]."

X

Nov. 2

Hardball

"Tancredo is going to win."

X

Nov. 2

Hardball

Palin "will lose with O`Donnell."

X

Jon Ralston

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

The Rachel Maddow Show

Maddow hosted Ralston to discuss his column, in which "you wrote today that you think Harry Reid is going to win."

X

Nov. 1

The Ed Show

"I don't believe any of this public polling. ... I think Harry Reid might pull this out"

X

Heidi Harris

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Nov. 1

The Ed Show

"[W]e're all going to be partying here because Harry's going down."

X

Charlie Cook

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

State of the Union

Candy Crowley citing Cook: "Fifty to 60 pickups, says political veteran Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report"

X

Oct. 31

NBC's Meet the Press

"I don't think it's really very plausible that they could get -- that Republicans could get a majority in the Senate right now."

X

Oct. 31

Meet the Press

"I think they'll end up losing Pennsylvania..."

X

Oct. 31

Meet the Press

"I think they'll end up losing...Illinois."

X

Bob Shrum

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

MSNBC's The Ed Show

"I think Manchin will win."

X

Mark Halperin

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

MSNBC's Hardball

"I think that's going to sweep in some of these Republican Senate candidates, maybe not 10, but I think more like eight or nine than six or seven."

X

Oct. 31

Hardball

"I think the number is moving higher than 50 rather than below 50."

X

Oct. 31

Hardball

"I thought for a while [Murkowski's] going to win."

X

Ed Schultz

Date

Show

Prediction

Correct

Incorrect

Undetermined

Oct. 31

MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show

"I think Harry Reid is going to win this thing."

X

METHODOLOGY:

Media Matters reviewed Nexis transcripts for all available CNN, MSNBC and Fox News programs, as well as the broadcast networks' Sunday morning news shows, from October 31 through November 2. Media Matters documented each time a media figure or political analyst predicted the outcome or suggested an outcome was extremely likely and compared their prediction with reported election results, as of November 8. If Media Matters could not determine the accuracy of one's prediction because some races were still undecided, the prediction was labeled as "undetermined." Predictions that long-shot candidates should not be "count[ed] out" or some variation of this claim were included, if that candidate lost by 10 percent of the vote or greater. Predictions that were qualified, such as "Sharron Angle probably can beat Harry Reid if she can get her ground game out," were not included. If a guest was appearing on behalf of a campaign or political party, they were not counted. Additionally, if a media figure was simply discussing polling results or reporting on the predictions of others, it wasn't counted.

Posted In
Elections
Stories/Interests
2010 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.