Sophia McCrimmon, the new Nate Silver?


Uber-statistician Nate Silver (Robert Gauldin/AP)

Silver, the Hollywood heartthrob and New York Times blogger, did in fact call President Obama’s electoral win right on the money, at 332 electoral votes.

But so did Sophia McCrimmon, an eighth-grader at Chickahominy Middle School in Mechanicsville, Va., who entered her prediction on Sept. 14 — weeks before Obama’s famous first debate.

“I figured Obama was going to win every state he won in 2008 except for North Carolina and Indiana,” she explained in an e-mail after being told she was a winner of the In the Loop Presidential Election Contest.

This was a two-part contest: Winners would be the first 10 entrants to predict the electoral vote and the first 10 to guess the new (old) president’s popular vote percentage.

In fact, all winners in the electoral vote category guessed Obama would get 332 electoral votes. They are:

●Matthew Weng — a staff attorney with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities in Trenton, N.J.

●Mark Levine, a radio talk show host and TV pundit and former legislative counsel to outgoing Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

●John McCormick, a front desk clerk from Bethesda

●Stuart Davis, a retired teacher from Arlington

●Nathaniel M. Deutsch, a human resources consultant in Washington

●Jay Cherlow, a retired economist from Arlington

●Jeff Holtmeier, a retired IRS agent and now part-time tax return preparer in Fairfax.

●Chris Dunkak of Middletown, N.J.

●David Bushnell, a consultant from Silver Spring, whose entry arrived 3 hours and 14 minutes before one submitted by Chris Doyle of Ponder, Tex.

A fair number of votes — absentees, provisionals and such — are still being tallied in several states, Obama appears to have moved a bit over 50.7 percent as the post-election numbers come in, according to David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, and it may be that he’ll reach the 50.8 percent mark, which Silver predicted.

So we’re going to hold off for the moment on announcing winners in the popular vote percentage category.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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