Today Slate is launching Lean/Lock, a game that tests your skill at predicting the outcomes of the 2010 midterm elections. Think of it like fantasy baseball, but for the most competitive House, Senate and gubernatorial races. Lean/Lock will reward you for your prescience, but also for your risk-management skills.
Here's how it works. Between now and Election Day on Nov. 2, you'll be able to "lean" or "lock" to a candidate for each of the 28 competitive races we've selected. We'll be adding more races as the campaign heats up. Each day, you accrue points for each race that you've predicted correctly, with one catch: You earn more points if you've locked to a winner instead of just leaned. As you may guess, though, once you've locked, you can't change your mind for the rest of the game, with the exception of a one-time option to unlock one candidate.
The day after the election, we'll sort through the results and declare a winner—Slate's political prognosticator of the year. In the meantime, we'll use polls to calculate your estimated score. A full explanation for how all this works is available on the game's homepage.
You can access Lean/Lock two ways: via our app on Facebook or on Slate Labs, which also launches today. In either case, you'll need a Facebook account to play; the data on both versions are identical, so you can hop from one version to the other without losing your picks.
Official scoring starts on Aug. 16, so make sure your initial picks are in by then. Sign up now!