One of These Candidates Will Definitely Win

Democrat Jason Crow will defeat Republican Mike Coffman by 6 points, unless he loses by 9 points.

If you flip a coin at any given time, there is a very good chance that it will land on either “heads” or “tails.” This, in a nutshell, is what you’ll find from reading CNN’s new prognostication feature called “The Forecast.”

In “The Forecast,” which CNN unveiled today with a big headline on its website, Harry Enten wades through every U.S. House and Senate race in 2018 and essentially comes to the same conclusion everywhere: Someone is definitely going to win.

Here’s what Enten says about Colorado’s most competitive Congressional race in CO-6:

My best estimate gives Jason Crow a six-point win. The worst case for Jason Crow is to lose by 9 points. That means Jason Crow is favored, but the margin of error is wide enough that we shouldn’t be surprised if Mike Coffman comes from behind.

Uh, thanks?

If Enten were a meteorologist, he would be predicting that it would either be sunny or cloudy or rainy or snowy today; high temperatures would be expected to range anywhere from 0-110 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are several decent political forecasts available online, from “Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball” to “Inside Elections.” These forecasts are helpful because they are more than just database number crunching devoid of all context or local knowledge. Perhaps someday soon we will be able to plug a bunch of numbers into an algorithm that will produce reliable, useful results…but we aren’t there yet.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    Heads, I win. Tails, you lose.

  2. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    It's like my pet peeve when people use the phrase "may or may not" , i.e.  Donald Trump may or may not have syphillis. .   Yeah, that pretty well covers all the possibilities.

  3. Gilpin Guy says:

    I predict if Crow wins that CD6 will be democratic for a long time.  The Tom Tancredo era would be over.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I agree. The GOP will have trouble recruiting a mainstream candidate in 2020. What do they have for a farm league team? Ryan Frazier or some other Aurora municipal government alumni.

      Instead, they'll take a walk on the wild side and run a red meat extremist. Powerful Pear, your 15 minutes of Warholian fame will arrive in 2020.

      • Mike W. says:

        Coffman would likely just run again. Hell, after redistricting he'll probably get his own cushy R+15 seat connected to Douglas County (again), so even if he doesn't next cycle, he'll undoubtedly run (in a competitive primary, most likely) in 2022. 

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          Agreed that Coffman will want to continue to be on the government dole for his entire career but redistricting isn't going to hand him a seat especially not in 2020.  First time redistricting will count is in 2022 and even then it will be by either a Democratically controlled legislature or an independent group.  Mike might still win but if he goes down it will be for the full count.

      • Genghis says:

        take a walk on the wild side

        PP came from Miami, F.L.A.

        Hitchhiked his way across the U.S.A. …

      • unnamed says:

        From the Horse's mouth:

        The only chance that the Republicans have in my mind to keep this seat is either to find somebody who is not Mike Coffman and hope they can win.  If Mike Coffman is the nominee, he loses just because he's lost the base.

      • unnamed says:

        Nah.  I think Pear could set his sights a little higher in 2020.  Like Primary Cory Gardner.  Because Gardner only voted with Trump 91% of the time, so he's impure.

  4. Nasty WomanNasty Woman says:

    Frazier? When was he a powerhouse?

    CD-6 is going Dem this year.  I think enough people have had it with the marshmellow.  He can be very soft on his answers and yet bounce back to support the guy in Kremlin West. 

    Too bad Morgan could not have had the run this year.  It would have been fun to see her replace the Major.

  5. ParkHill says:

    How do you explain statistics to the in-numerate?

    I regularly read http://fivethirtyeight.com

  6. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Enten sure ain't no Steve Kornacki, but it sounds like CNN is making a half-assed hearted attempt to catch up to MSNBC. 

  7. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Deleting duplicate. Darned sticky keys!

  8. Raphael says:

    This is really the only accurate kind of forecast out there — one that is non-definitive, and allows for a range of possibilities for the plain and simple truth that, despite our best wishes, we actually cannot predict the future.

    So it may seem unhelpful to speak of possible outcomes like Harry Enten is doing here, but so what? The choices for forecasts are for them to be less helpful or less truthful. You can pack "local knowledge" and non-quantitative stuff into your predictions all you want, it doesn't make the certainty of your prediction any more or less strong.

    I'll choose accuracy over specificity any day of the week. We all woke up the morning of November 8, 2016 confident in the specific states that would be voting for Hillary and look where that got us…

    Uncertainty needs to be counted for more seriously when we conduct our armchair punditry. Well, guess it doesn't have to be, but the point is it should and we shouldn't just dismiss forecasts like this one because it acknowledges that uncertainty in an accurate and rigorous way.

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