Paulette Wyant doesn't own a dart gun and doesn't plan to buy one. The Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton bobblehead dolls she won in The Californian's Pick the Winners contest this month will share a shelf of honor in her home, despite the fact her candidate lost.
"I believe that even if your candidate doesn't win, you still need to respect the office of president," said the avowed Democrat.
Wyant nailed all but one of the 17 propositions on the ballot, missing only on Proposition 57, to edge out the competition. It was a mixed bag in the individual contests for each of the top three finishers, though, with misses in both local congressional races. She overcame that to win the bobbleheads and a $50 gift certificate to The Mark restaurant.
"I'm an informed voter," said the second-grade teacher. "I'm also a Democrat. Maybe that swayed some of my predictions."
Jacqueline Medrano lost in a tie-breaker to place second and Lupe Armendariz was third. They each won a bag of marginally valuable TBC Media swag.
Overall, more than 500 people entered The Californian's election prognostication contest, a large enough sample size, perhaps, for a few nonscientific takeaways.
Contest entrants decisively picked a Donald Trump victory (59 percent), with 12 percent inexplicably predicting "neither." Other forecasts: Kamala Harris (52 percent) for U.S. senator; David Valadao (77percent) for Congressional District 21; Kevin McCarthy (77 percent) for Congressional District 23; Vince Fong (84 percent) for Assembly District 34; and Manuel Ramirez (57 percent) for Assembly District 32 — an oops, because incumbent Rudy Salas won decisively. Contestants also liked Kyle Carter for mayor (55 percent) — another oops, because Karen Goh won narrowly; Andrae Gonzales (66 percent) for Ward 2; Jeff Tkac (47 percent in a three-way race) for Ward 5; and Jacquie Sullivan (66 percent) for Ward 6.
But the contestants as a group predicted every state proposition and local measure listed in the poll would go down to defeat. They were miserably wrong there; all passed.