Thanks to all who entered the Yael on the Trail prediction contest for 2016, which I posted with all the questions and rules on Nov. 3. Turns out, it was rather difficult to get all the predictions correct.
And now, here are the winners of the Kansas side of the contest and of the Missouri side, plus how they won. Their prizes: I will buy each one a lunch in the near future as we sit and talk about politics — or something more uplifting!
Jim Breed prevailed on the Kansas side.
He was one of only three people to correctly predict the outcome of all six Kansas election questions I posed — and then was the only one to pick Donald Trump as the winner of the presidential race. (As he and many others noted in their emails, their prognostications did not always indicate how they would vote.)
Breed was kind enough to send me a little bit about himself:
“I am a lifelong Kansas City resident. I went to Van Horn High School. I earned a BS in mechanical engineering, an MA in Economics, and an MBA; all from UMKC; and a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. I recently retired from a 34 year career with the Federal government. I am currently Director of Engineering and Computer Programs at Rockhurst University.”
In Missouri, the winner was a much younger Ray Strunk.
He was one of three people who had only one wrong prediction on the harder Missouri-side of the election contest, saying that Jason Kander would defeat Roy Blunt for U.S. senator.
(Notably, many others incorrectly predicted that Chris Koster would defeat Eric Greitens for governor and that voters would reject the tax increase for the Mid-Continent Public Library.)
Because all three wrongly said Clinton would win the presidential race, I looked at who had the best prediction on what percentage of vote Clinton would get. Strunk said 47.65 percent, and he was easily the closest to the latest total of 47.8 percent.
Here’s a quick bio on Strunk:
“I am from Valley Center, Kansas, graduated from Valley Center High School in 2015. I currently attend Barton Community College where I am the Student Body President and a member of the varsity tennis team. I plan on attending Wichita State next year to finish my degree in communications and will possibly attend law school after that.”
Congratulations to Jim Breed and Ray Strunk — and thanks to all those who took part in the contest. Let’s do it again in 2020.