As true aficionados of these hallowed pages know, this site is coming up on its second anniversary. Specifically, the debut of TPM came on November 13th 2000 with a post about uber-right-wing-attorney Ted Olson, now going under the label of Solicitor General of the United States. So of course a big gala celebration is going to be held on the 13th.
But, wait,wait, let's go further back into the pre-history of TPM. Don't be afraid, we'll go through it together ... TPM started during the 2000 recount when news really did change almost every hour or every day and unlike almost any other political story in more than a century the country's entire constitutional order was in uncharted territory and, in a sense, in danger. But there was a sort of pre-Talking Points Memo just before the election: a contest to see who could come closest to predicting who would win the presidency, what the percentages would be, who would win the House and the Senate, and so forth.
You can see the results of the contest here -- Check it out. It's like a serious TPM relic. Amazing stuff, I assure you.
Now needless to say the whole matter of the presidency turned out to be rather more complicated than we'd imagined. But, you know, let's just not get into that right now.
In any case, it's time for another contest. Tell us your predictions for the United States Senate.
Here's the deal.
1. First predict the final partisan split, how many GOPs, how many Dems, etc.
2. Then make your call for the fourteen Senate races in Arkansas, Minnesota, South Carolina, Colorado, Missouri, South Dakota, Georgia, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Iowa, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina. (In your email write each state on a line and then the party or candidate name of the winner. So like this ...
New Jersey Republican
Please do it this way and not in discussion form. Otherwise it'll be impossible to go through them.
3. If you want you can then predict the actual spread in as many of the races as you choose.
The way the contest will be scored is that we'll go from one tier to the next. If you get the overall spread right you advance to the next section. If you don't get it you're out. Then if you get each Senate race right, you'll advance on to the tabulation of individual spreads in specific races. The person who gets either all the races right or who gets all the races right and the most race percentages right, wins.
Is all this clear? Frankly, I'm not even sure it is to me. But whatever... You get the idea.
All entries must be received no later than 9 PM East Coast time on Monday evening. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The results will be announced after they're tabulated and after the results of the various races are known -- which frankly may take a while.
As for the prize: fame, celebrity and renown among TPM readers worldwide.