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ArlingtonPoliticsDownstater comes out on top in punditocracy competition

Downstater comes out on top in punditocracy competition

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Sorry, Northern Virginia political junkies. You fell to a downstater in the Virginia Public Access Project’s latest pundit contest.

The prognostications of Jonathan Lyle of Goochland County on the most recent congressional primaries were almost as tasty as the world-class tomatoes he harvests each year.

Out of 309 entrants, Lyle was one of 18 who accurately predicted the winners in all five congressional primaries. (Most of the also-rans got tripped up on the 7th District Republican primary, where Yesli Vega defeated the better known Bryce Reeves.)

The 18 then moved to tiebreaker rounds. On the first one, all 18 correctly guessed that U.S. Rep. Don Beyer would win but would garner less than 85 percent of the vote against his challenger Victoria Virasingh.

Lyle, 67, sealed his victory in the second tiebreaker, which asked contestants to predict the percentage of the vote Jen Kiggans would win in the 2nd District GOP primary. He projected 56.27 percent – less than one percentage point away from the actual 55.69 percent in the four-way race.

Lyle knows a thing or two about winning elections: He serves on his county’s Soil & Water Conservation District Board. He is a member of the Goochland Farm Bureau board and currently is tending to his crop of cherry tomatoes.

“I like ’em, that’s why I grow ’em,” he replied to a Virginia Public Access Project inquiry. “You don’t see me growing brussels sprouts, and there’s a reason.”

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