Read Slate's complete coverage of the 2010 midterm elections.
As of Wednesday afternoon, four of the 36 races featured in Lean/Lock—Slate's election-prediction game—were undecided. We'll probably find out the winners of several these nail-biters this week. But thanks to Lisa Murkowski's write-in campaign, Alaska's newest senator won't be named until at least Nov. 18. That's far too long to let our loyal players wait, so we're releasing the preliminary results today.
Of the more than 7,000 active Lean/Lock players, only one locked to every winning candidate declared so far. Congratulations to Brian McEntire, who sealed his triacontakaidi-fecta on Oct. 28, when he locked to Kurt Schrader in the race for Oregon's 5th District. (McEntire has locked to the Republican candidates in each of the four remaining races.) Mr. McEntire, we hear CNN is hiring for 2012.
McEntire thus far has earned 39,820 points, putting him in 197th place. In Lean/Lock, players received points based on how long they leaned toward or locked on a winning candidate, rather than simply how accurate their predictions were. Many players offset an incorrect pick or two with extreme prescience in all the others. Congratulations to the Top 10 scorers so far:
1) Cory Conrad [45,260 points]
2) Jimmy Sunshine [45,007]
3) Owen Hughes [44,997]
4) Greg Jent [44,950]
5) David Michaels [44,940]
6) Kenneth Murphy [44,720]
7) Paul Bochniarz [44,642]
8) Rob Farwell [44,537]
9) Jean-Michel Laprise [44,475]
10) Doug Dudek [44,370]
To see your score, log into Lean / Lock. Of course, the players who joined Lean/Lock the earliest had a distinct advantage over those who joined later. In our final roundup, we'll highlight the best of the late-comers, too.
How did the Lean/Lock community do as a whole? In the races decided so far, 74.3 percent of all final picks were leans or locks to the winning candidate. Not bad, even with Alvin Greene and Christine O'Donnell lending a hand. Once the winning candidates are known in the remaining races—for Senate in Colorado and Alaska, for governor in Illinois, and to represent California's 17th District—we'll post our final results. Stay tuned.