Yes, the big hero in predicting the election results was Nate Silver, a 34 year-old math and statistics whiz. He went 50 for 50, getting all the states. While Fox News got it all wrong, he got it all right.
Except for one senate race: Yup, Heidi Heitkamp over Rick Berg. For this miss, he was good-naturedly chided on the Daily Show by host Jon Stewart, something to the effect of "Oh my God, Silver, you really blew it."
Looking at the whole election, Heitkamp's victory in North Dakota was against the grain (no pun intended; she is definitely not against farmers), as Obama lost here by 20 points and every state office and almost all the legislative seats went Republican. Even brilliant whiz kid Silver couldn't see her win coming.
And to Berg's credit, he was a gentleman, gracious in conceding rather than drawing it out to the bitter end.
Let us hope that on the national level we can have ladies and gentlemen, mature adults, working together to keep us from going over the fiscal cliff. Maybe 20 women in the Senate can influence the stubborn old boys club to act like responsible adults. We'll see. And hope and pray.
(Lein is a community columnist for The Minot Daily News)