CNBC's shouty money man Jim Cramer made the wildest, most outlandish prediction for the outcome of the Tuesday's election. Just about every other pundit thinks it's either an insane, amazing troll on the punditocracy or that Jim Cramer is on some very good drugs.
The Washington Post published a list of predictions from pundits and media personalities last night. WaPo's politics editor Chris Cillizza is there beside Cramer, PBS Newshour' Christina Bellantoni, poker player Matt Matros, and one of the co-founders of Reddit. So we're working with a broad spectrum here. But seriously, just look at Cramer's prediction. It is nuts:
Uh, okay, Jim. That's Obama winning a whopping 440 votes in the electoral college. Cramer's only commentary on his prediction is, "the Presidential race is nowhere as close as the polls suggest." To which we say: apparently!
The guessing games that pundits do have been a hot topic of debate this week. Nate Silver, who runs the New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog, has been predicting an 80% chance of an Obama victory. NBC's Joe Scarborough challenged Silver's prediction, and Silver countered with a $1,000 bet (for charity!) defending his work. Silver was criticized by the Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan for conduct unbecoming of a Times man.
Unsurprisingly, the Internet decided to have some fun with Cramer's outlandish fever dream. "Jim Cramer predicting Obama will get 440 electoral votes is exactly why pundits should be encouraged to bet," said Slate's Matt Yglesias. "I really can't fathom how Jim Cramer is coming up with that. I can't even make a fantasy map where that's remotely plausible," said Business Insider's Joseph Weisenthal. "Whatever Jim Cramer is smoking, I think I want some," said Mother Jones' Kevin Drum. Someone even started the requisite parody Twitter account @JimCramersMap, because nothing remotely amusing can happen anymore without getting its own Twitter account.
If you're wondering what Cramer's map might look like, the National Journal's Jim Tankersely was able to figure out a way Obama could get there:
We don't know what Cramer's up to, but boy do we like his chutzpah. More people should make ridiculous predictions like this. Let the Nate Silvers of the world take everything so seriously and get all but one state right, while the rest throw spaghetti against a wall for fun to see what sticks.
Or, seemingly like in Cramer's case, you could smoke a bowl and go to the mall to sort out your prediction with Zelda the All-Seeing Psychic and her magical crystal ball.
Update: Cramer responded to everyone laughing at him on Twitter:
All polls are focused on popular vote, which is a parlor game. It is the electorals that matter. That's the flaw..why don't people see that?— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) November 4, 2012
It might dawn on people scoffing about my call on the election, but i am basically taking the Over on Obama. Everyone else is too close— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) November 4, 2012
No one is going to recall the guy who picks Obama by 10 electorals if it turns out to be 150 margin.Believe me.— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) November 4, 2012
Plus, one more thing, this election is like the stock market, everyone's long a close race. Everyone. So i have to take the other side!!!!— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) November 4, 2012
Memo to Business Insider: 1. i think i will be pretty close on the election. and 2. Joe, your corrosion and cynicism should be tempered— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) November 4, 2012
Jim Cramer is an idiot who can't pick stocks, sports, or politics which is why no one ever seems to want to hear from him.....— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) November 4, 2012