This morning’s recount of the HD 15 primary will result in more than one winner. Yes — you read that correctly. In addition to determining whether Jay Fant or Paul Renner moves on to the general election, the outcome of this closely-watched race will determine which political pundit wins the primary round of “Man v. Machine” — the voting contest designed to test a new forecasting model developed by political data guru Brecht Heuchan.
Indeed, of the 16 politicos playing in this contest, two have emerged with identical scores. These two players tied with 73 total points out of a possible 84 points over a set of two primary ballot tabulations. One of these two players picked Fant to win in HD 15, and other picked Renner.
Once the HD 15 winner is known, the game’s leader will have an 88 percent accuracy rate, which turns out is the same score that the group of players as a whole has done.
As a group, the 16 players got 37 races right from the 42 possible. They did really well in the GOP primaries, missing only one (Sullivan), but fared less well on Democratic primaries, missing four (Cortes, who defeated an incumbent; Carnell; Narain; and Sarnoff).
Three players tied for third place, and four players tied for sixth place. Only four points will ultimately separate the winner from the 10th ranked player.
But this is where things start to get interesting.
The primary contest was a great warm-up for the players, who will not only face each other again during the general election game, but will also face Heuchan’s “machine” — Decision Link — his election forecasting tool that crunches a lot of political data and predicts winners with a 92 to 94 percent accuracy rate.
This means that our human contestants will have to sharpen their game to come out ahead.
And knowing the competitive spirits of these 16 — Pat Bainter, Chip Case, Joe Clements, Ana Cruz, David Custin, Mike Grissom, David Johnson, Jackie Lee, Anthony Pedicini, Travis Peterson, Marc Reichelderfer, Jim Rimes, Steve Schale, Ryan Tyson, Steve Vancore and Ashley Walker — there’s little doubt they’ll bring it on.