Close -- but not too close to call.
The Outlook decision desk has declared Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway the winner of our 12th Crystal Ball competition. With Iowa's seven electoral votes falling into President Bush's column, she cemented her lead over the other 12 contestants. Conway had accurate or near-accurate forecasts in five of six categories -- both parts of the presidential vote, the composition of the House, the governorships and the outcome in Florida. She fell short only on the makeup of the new Senate -- she predicted a status quo result, missing the GOP's pickup of four seats.
Several other seers did well enough to stay in the hunt -- honorable mention in particular to Fox News's Tony Snow -- so to settle all doubts and avoid all challenges, we went to our tiebreaking questions (on the Colorado and North Carolina Senate races) to see how our top four did. Bingo! Conway was the only one to get both right.
We Have To Talk (The Washington Post, Nov 7, 2004)
A Cheer For Ugly (The Washington Post, Nov 7, 2004)
Ending Our Losing Ways (The Washington Post, Nov 7, 2004)
A Coalition of Conviction (The Washington Post, Nov 7, 2004)
Why the Scales Won't Tip (The Washington Post, Nov 7, 2004)
We'll invite her back in 2006 to defend her title. Mark this down in your BlackBerrys: Only 725 days until the midterm elections. Bet you can't wait.
-- The Outlook Editors