The Primary Office Pool

Caucus night draws nigh. There’s no better way to celebrate one great American tradition—democracy—than by carrying out another American ritual—the office pool. Consider it a high-minded warm-up for March Madness. Our recommendations for setting up your own office pool:

  • Give the later contests more prominence: Because we have no idea what’s going to happen between now and Feb. 5 (let alone now and New Hampshire’s primaries), correct predictions for the later states should be worth more points.
  • Award points for more than just first place: Throw a bone to the nonpoliticos in your office and make second and third place count, too.
  • Don’t get wonkish: When predicting Tsunami Tuesday winners, don’t get bogged down in the particulars of Mike Gravel’s chances in Alaska (his home state). Pull out a few major players from the crowded field of states and have your co-workers predict the majority to encompass the rest.
  • Forget about odds: Trying to entice people to choose Duncan Hunter isn’t going to work. And you don’t want to have to sit there calculating the odds of Bill Richardson finishing third in South Carolina.

If you want to go the premade route, download spreadsheets we mocked up for the Democratic field and/or the GOP contests .

Stay tuned for details about Trailhead’s own primary prediction contest, coming up later in the day.

UPDATE 3:21 p.m.: If you don’t have enough people to make your own pool, enter your predictions in Trailhead’s contest .