Here's my predictions for Tuesday's election. Now share yours

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The obvious drawback to offering predictions about Tuesday's election is that you might be wrong about key races and thus dent whatever reputation you have for political insight.

"I don't know" is always a correct answer. "We'll see. Time will tell. It depends."

Many highly opinionated people in and out of media shrug their way through the run-up to elections, their voices — usually so eager to analyze and project, to hypothesize and postulate — rendered mute by fear masquerading as modesty.

We get it. You're not an oracle.

And if concealing that fact is your definition of probity then I doubt I'll be able to entice you into entering this year's competition to win the Crystal Blog, a wholly imaginary and worthless trophy I award after major elections to the reader who offers the most accurate forecasts.

Serious contestants consult the latest polls — realclearpolitics.com and pollster.com are two I've bookmarked — read the nerdy analysis at fivethirtyeight.com and sprinkle in a little intuition. Others scan the headlines and go with their gut feelings and rooting interests.

Why bother? Because it's fun. Because it's human nature to make educated guesses about what's going to happen next, whether you're a sports fan, an Oscar buff, a market watcher or a follower of cliffhanger TV shows.

Because putting down markers engages emotionally in the outcome, and engagement beats detachment every time.

Anyway, here are this year's Crystal Blog challenges, with my predictions highlighted in bold:

1. U.S. president: Mitt Romney (R) or Barack Obama (D)

2. 10th Illinois Congressional District: Brad Schneider (D) or Bob Dold (R)

3. 8th Illinois Congressional District: Joe Walsh (R) or Tammy Duckworth (D)

4. 11th Illinois Congressional District: Bill Foster (D) or Judy Biggert (R)

5. Indiana U.S. Senate: Richard Mourdock (R) or Joe Donnelly (D)

6. Missouri U.S. Senate: Todd Akin (R) or Claire McCaskill (D)

7. Of the statewide ballot measures relating to gay marriage in four states, how many will turn out favorably for advocates of equality? (2)

8. Democrats currently hold 53 out of 100 seats in the U.S. Senate. How many will they hold in the next Congress? (52)

9. Will the Democrats pick up five or more seats in the U.S. House? Yes

10. Tie-breaker: Guess the electoral vote margin for the candidate you selected in the first question: 40

A week ago I was planning to predict a Romney victory. Though the momentum he'd gained after the presidential debate in early October had slowed and he was running behind in key state polls, his campaign seemed to have its mojo working.

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Editorial Poll


THE EDITORIAL BOARD


Andy Green, the opinion editor, has taken the "know a little bit about everything" approach in his time at The Sun. He was the city/state editor before coming to the editorial board, and prior to that he covered the State House and Baltimore County government.

Tricia Bishop, the deputy editorial page editor, was a reporter in the business and metro sections covering biotechnology, education and city and federal courts prior to joining the board.

Peter Jensen, former State House reporter and features writer, takes the lead on state government, transportation issues and the environment; he is the board's resident funny man and capital schmooze.

Glenn McNatt, who returned to editorial writing after serving as the newspaper's art critic, keeps an eye on the arts, culture, politics and the law for the editorial board.

Portland's potty water problem [Poll]

The Portland (Oregon) Water Bureau ordered 38 million gallons of clean, potable water drained after a smirking teen-ager urinated in a reservoir. Was that an overreaction?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure

PHOTO GALLERIES