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Midterm Madness -- Test Your Political Forecasting Skills

The Fix often draws parallels between campaign politics and sports -- focusing on the personalities, story lines and daily dramas that make both so compelling.

There's no better time in sports than March Madness, when 65 college basketball teams battle it out for supremacy over the course of three intense weeks. When it comes to politics, we think the most interesting time is the last two weeks before Election Day, when television ads fill the airwaves, direct-mail appeals stuff mailboxes and the fate of parties candidates, and the country hang in the balance.

washingtonpost.com decided combine the fun of March Madness with the dynamic nature of a midterm election.

The result is "Midterm Madness" -- our newest (and coolest) interactive feature.

Now you can pick your own winners in every one of the 435 House races and all 33 Senate seats up for election on Nov. 7. As an added bonus you can compete against me. My picks are already in the system, and you can use them as a starting or ending point for your own choices. (Or, if you find yourself regularly disagreeing with The Fix's take on politics, feel free to use my picks as a guide of what not to do.)

But Midterm Madness is not just a game, and we are not suggesting you take this election lightly. Anyone familiar with our regular politics coverage understands that important issues are at stake. Midterm Madness is simply another way for readers and political observers to engage with the political process. Where possible we provide information on each candidate, analysis of the key races and links to more information. Hopefully, as you play you will take time to learn about the candidates and consider which ones best represent your own views.

We also invite you to consider the political implications of the election's outcome. Many players -- including The Fix -- have already predicted a split Congress, with Democrats controlling the House and Republicans in charge in the Senate. What will that mean for the last two years of the Bush administration and how will it affect the important issues of the day?

As I noted when submitting my picks, there are so many close races that it would be a fool's errand to try and make a hard-and-fast prediction of what will happen on Nov. 7. In other words, when it comes to Midterm Madness, your guess is literally as good as mine.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 24, 2006; 9:05 AM ET
Categories:  House , Senate  
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Next: Congressional Countdown

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