Posts Tagged ‘Chris Matthews’

McLaughlin Group on Individual Mandate, Rand Paul

November 3, 2013  |  Politics

Here is what the McLaughlin Group pundits predicted on this week’s show.

Will the individual healthcare mandate be delayed by one year?

Pat Buchanan: Yes

Eleanor Clift: No

Mort Zuckerman: Yes

Chris Matthews: No

John McLaughlin: Yes


Will Rand Paul be the 2016 GOP Presidential nominee?

Chris Matthews: Yes

Eleanor Clift: Yes

Mort Zuckerman: No


Make your own prediction on each of these items for a limited time in our Politics section.

Chris Matthews: Rand Paul will be 2016 GOP Nominee

August 9, 2013  |  Politics

“This is what I do for a living”

Link to Prediction

Link to Chris Matthews’ PT Profile, where you can make your own prediction on whether Paul will be the nominee or not

Vote: Worst Political Prediction of 2012

December 5, 2012  |  Politics

We have narrowed down our list of the best & worst political predictions this year and would like your help in making the final call.

Here are our three final candidates for the Worst Political Prediction of 2012

(1) Conservative Pundits: Romney will win the election in a landslide

We decided that it was unfair to single out any one of these predictions, since they all met the threshold of being spectacularly off-target.

Larry KudlowRomney will get 330 electoral votes
Dick MorrisRomney will get 325 electoral votes
Glenn BeckRomney will get 321 electoral votes
George WillRomney will get 321 electoral votes
Michael BaroneRomney will get 315 electoral votes
Wayne Allyn RootRomney will win by 100-120 electoral votes

(2) Chris Matthews: Michele Bachmann will win the GOP nomination

Some have argued that Matthews was joking, but we don’t buy it. Decide for yourself.

(3) Dick Morris: Obama might pull out of the election

This prediction was too hedged to include on his profile page, but it was so outrageous — and outrageously wrong — that it justified a spot on this list.

<< As bad news piles up for the Democrats, I asked a top Democratic strategist if it were possible that President Obama might “pull a Lyndon Johnson” and soberly face the cameras, telling America that he has decided that the demands of partisan politics are interfering with his efforts to right our economy and that he has decided to withdraw to devote full time to our recovery. His answer: “Yes. It’s possible. If things continue as they are and have not turned around by January, it is certainly possible.”….. if the Republicans nominate a more moderate candidate such as Mitt Romney, Obama will not be able to rely on partisan animosity to succeed where job approval has failed. And, given all that, he might not even run. >> []

We will announce the “winner” in two weeks, at which time we will also reveal our awards for Best and Worst Pundit of 2012. Coming tomorrow: voting for the Best Political Prediction of 2012.


We are now tracking more than 120 pundits on With the 2013 Predictions rolling in, check out all the latest predictions and enter the PT Challenge to compete with the “experts” and win prizes.

Election Report Card

November 8, 2012  |  Politics

This is the first of a five-part election recap series.

After spending two years cataloging more than 150 election predictions made by various political pundits, now comes the fun part: report card time. 

Here is how the pundits fared, sorted by $1 Yield. For those new to the site, $1 Yield is the core metric we use to judge pundits; it measures the average payout (using consensus odds) had you placed $1 bets on each of the pundit’s calls. A yield of exactly $1.00, for instance, means the pundit’s predictions were no better or worse than the consensus view at the time. We have also included the boldest (most out-of-consensus) prognostication made by each pundit.

Pundit# Calls# Correct$1 YieldBoldest Call
Michael Tomasky32$2.07Obama wins & Democrats win Senate & Republicans win House
Steven Rattner22$1.88Obama wins (290+ electoral vote)
Eleanor Clift54$1.80Senate: 54 Democrats
Chris Matthews22$1.67Joe Manchin/Sherod Brown win
Michelle Goldberg22$1.59Obama wins
Mark Shields33$1.50Whoever wins Ohio wins the eleciton
Robert Reich11$1.27Democrats win Senate
Chris Cillizza64$0.94Senate: 51(D)-47(R)-2(I)
Howard Fineman21$0.85Republicans pick up 8+ Senate seats
Clarence Page21$0.83Obama wins (280)
Cokie Roberts21$0.83Obama wins (294)
Matthew Dowd21$0.83Obama wins (303)
Donna Brazile21$0.83Obama wins (313)
Ezra Klein21$0.83Obama wins (290 or 303)
Ronald Brownstein21$0.83Obama wins (288)
Melissa Harris Perry74$0.81Senate: 52(D)-46(R)-2(I)
Mort Zuckerman53$0.80Obama's Hispanic support falls by 30 points
Juan Williams84$0.71House: 231(R)-204(D)
Karl Rove104$0.64Akin will lose by largest margin in recent history
Bill O'Reilly73$0.62Romney wins New Hampshire
George Will52$0.59Romney wins (321)
Jim Cramer31$0.56Senate: 53(D), 45(R), 2(I)
Larry Sabato31$0.56Senate: 53(D)-47(R)
Paul Begala41$0.42Third-party candidate gets 7% of popular vote
Wayne Allyn Root112$0.22Romney wins popular vote by 5-7 points
Dick Morris172$0.19Romney wins by 4-8 percentage points
Pat Buchanan71$0.18Romney wins all 11 states of the confederacy
Ann Coulter20$0.00Romney wins (273+)
Bill Kristol10$0.00Romney wins
Charles Krauthammer10$0.00Romney wins
Glenn Beck20$0.00Romney wins (321)
John Heilemann10$0.00Election not declared on 11/7; Florida-style recounts
John McLaughlin40$0.00Obama loses Wisconsin
Larry Kudlow30$0.00Romney wins at least 52-48
Michael Barone20$0.00Romney wins (315)
Newt Gingrich40$0.00Romney: 53%+ of popular vote, 300+ electoral
Peggy Noonan10$0.00Romney wins
Rich Lowry20$0.00Akin loses, but by less than 5 points

Note: We are still waiting on a few more outcomes (e.g. final House tallies) and will update the data as these roll in.

While there were a handful of notable predictions that came true — which we will detail in an upcoming post — as a group the pundits performed woefully. Only 8 of the 38 pundits we tracked generated a yield higher than than $1.00. In other words, the majority of the pundits did worse than your “Average Joe.”

Average Pundit Performance (38 tracked)

Hit Rate (# correct calls divided by # calls made) = 41%

$1 Yield = $0.68

The rankings are largely a function of the pundit’s party affiliation, which is a sad commentary on the state of punditry. This is why keeping lifetime track records, as PunditTracker will do, will be critical as far as holding pundits accountable.


Coming up in the PT Election Series

Best & Worst Election Predictions

Worst Election Pundit

Nate Silver vs. Intrade

Updated Political Pundit Rankings

Ranking the Political Pundits

October 31, 2012  |  Politics

With Election Day less than one week away, let’s take a snapshot of how the political pundits we track are performing.

The following rankings are based on our “$1 Yield” metric, which calibrates predictions for boldness by measuring the average payout (using consensus odds) had you placed $1 bets on each of the pundit’s calls.  A $1.00 yield, for instance, means the pundit’s predictions have been no better or worse than the consensus view at the time. Pundits with at least 25 graded calls receive an official grade on; for context, yields above $1.10 constitute an A grade, while those below $0.90 equate to an F.


PunditTracked Since# Graded# CorrectHit Rate$1 Yield
James CarvilleMar 201111100%$3.85
Bill KristolDec 20106467%$1.65
Bill O'ReillyMar 20114375%$1.25
Charles KrauthammerMar 20117571%$1.18
John HeilemannFeb 20114375%$1.14
Karl RoveJun 20117686%$1.12
Clarence PageApr 20119667%$1.08
David BrooksFeb 20119778%$1.06
Mort ZuckermanOct 201016850%$1.03
Pat Buchanan (B-)Oct 2010301963%$1.03
John McLaughlin (C+)Oct 2010311755%$1.01
Rich LowryOct 20109556%$0.91
Mark ShieldsMay 20116583%$0.90
George WillJan 20116467%$0.86
Eleanor Clift (F)Oct 2010271452%$0.74
Gloria BorgerDec 20106350%$0.73
Michelle GoldbergDec 20112150%$0.68
Dick MorrisMar 201112433%$0.52
Michael TomaskyDec 20114125%$0.34
Robert ReichDec 20104125%$0.33
Chris MatthewsJan 2011500%$0.00
Paul BegalaDec 2011200%$0.00


As a collective group, the pundits have made more than 200 calls and have generated a yield of $0.95 (D+ grade), meaning that they are performing worse than your “Average Joe.”

We will post updated rankings following election day. With more than 90 predictions slated to come due, we are likely to see major changes in the grades on November 7.


Think you can predict better than these political “experts”? Here’s your chance to show the world… and win prizes while doing so! Learn more by clicking here or go straight to to start making predictions now.


The Veepstakes Postmortem

August 13, 2012  |  Politics

Here is a guest post from a friend of PunditTracker.

Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan Saturday as his vice presidential running mate. In opting for the seven‐term Wisconsin Congressman, the Republican standard‐bearer has in the words of Politico’s Mike Allen offered, “A RACE RESET.”

As the former Massachusetts Governor unveiled his selection aboard the USS Wisconsin, Romney closed by saying, “Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States.” He then laughingly corrected the slip of tongue, saying he had been known to make a mistake or two, “but I didn’t make one with this guy.”

One can’t help but wonder if we will be hearing a similar mea culpa from the media elite? In what is becoming a quadrennial trend, none of the dozen pundits we track that weighed in with a definitive, singular call selected Paul Ryan as Romney’s eventual running mate.

1. Paul Begala: Rob Portman (link)
2. Mark Halperin: Rob Portman (link)
3. Charles Krauthammer: Marco Rubio (link)
4. Chris Matthews: Marco Rubio (link) or Rick Perry (link)
5. Robert Reich: Marco Rubio (link)
6. Dick Morris: Marco Rubio (link)
7. Eleanor Clift: Rob Portman (link)
8. John McLaughlin: Rob Portman (link)
9. Mark Shields: Rob Portman (link)
10. Michael Tomasky: Susana Martinez (link)
11. Rich Lowry: Rob Portman or Bob McDonnell (link)
12. Mort Zuckerman: Rob Portman (link)

Of course, history offers ample evidence of predictive under‐performance in the vice presidential selection. On the GOP side, Quayle, Kemp, Cheney and Palin were largely no‐shows on the insider lists of what Time’s Mark Halperin calls the “Gang of 500.” The Ryan selection simply continues the trend.

The prediction markets, however, fared little better. While much was made last Friday of what the Associated Press called “an incredibly irregular spike in volume” for Ryan, Intrade had Rob Portman as the most likely candidate at midday on August 8 with a 36% chance of selection. It placed the Ohio Senator well ahead of Pawlenty (17.1%) and Rubio (12.3%). Ryan was in single digits at just 9.5%.

Thus, neither the Wisdom of Crowds nor the musings of the media elite have shown much predictive value. And those twin failings beg the question: what makes speculation around vice presidential selection so hard? Three potential drivers merit postmortem consideration:

  • Information Asymmetry: Campaigns go to extraordinary lengths to conceal their intentions, sending Paul Ryan into secondary airports wearing ball caps and sunglasses. It creates the political equivalent of what investment gurus regularly cite as information asymmetry. As Politico’s Allen wrote in the days leading up to the selection, “We know less than ever about the real state of play. We should not be surprised to be surprised.” But amid the knowledge gap, the demands of the 24×7 news cycle continue and the abhorred vacuum must be filled. It leads to predictive commentary that is largely absent tangible input from the campaign.
  • Recency Bias: A second potential dynamic may be what academicians call recency bias. In lay terms, it is the exercise of using our recent experiences as the baseline for what will happen in the future. In the wake of the 2008 election, the consensus among Halperin’s Gang of 500 was that the Palin selection adversely impacted McCain. This recent view, in turn, may have informed a bias that the pendulum had swung four years on toward a “safe choice” like Rob Portman.
  • Herd Mentality: Finally, the herd mentality is the highly documented phenomenon of groups acting in the same fashion. In Kindleberger’s Manias, Panics and Crashes, we periodically review the lessons of history amid frantic buying or in the wake of furious selling.  As the speculative frenzy grew to something akin to U.S. housing in 2006, it may be that a framing emerged. The safe choice of Portman or Pawlenty was framed with the bold pick of Rubio or Christie. This construct held through the summer, with Ryan only emerging within the latter “bold” camp as players like Christie came to be seen as less plausible.

Finally, amid thousands of column inches, it is interesting to contemplate what was largely unexplored. We heard little about Romney’s executive decision‐making and how it might inform approach. We heard little about how the former Harvard MBA and Chief Executive approached talent development at Bain portfolio companies. We heard little about how he handled succession planning as he began to contemplate future endeavors beyond Bain. Exploration here may have elevated predictive success, offering a tell that he was looking to give a “stretch assignment” to someone who very much looked the CEO‐in‐waiting Saturday in Norfolk.

In the end, whether the Ryan selection truly brings “A RACE RESET” remains to be seen. But it certainly was a decision that few predicted with important potential implications for the next 85 days.


Donald Trigg is a “friend of PunditTracker.” He spent a decade in public policy at the national level, including his work on the 2000 Bush for President campaign in Austin, Texas.

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