This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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January 2008
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#%$^#$ West Coast Delay

For once I was going to watch some debates live rather than weeks later on the Tivo. Until I find out that stupid ABC is delaying the West Coast feed by 3 hours like they do with all kinds of crap. The debates start in 3 minutes. I won’t get to see them for 3 hours and 3 minutes. Pisses me off. Makes me not want to bother watching it “live” after all, because of course it won’t be.

I need to get an extra Slingbox and Tivo to send to someone on the East coast just to avoid this kind of nonsense garbage. Bleh.

Delegate Count

OK, I’m going nuts with posts tonight, mainly because I can’t do my other normal evening work because I am spending the evening in the living room with Brandy who is recovering from some medical tests she had Thursday rather than spending the time in my office where I have access to my normal stuff.

So a few more thoughts. And yes, I know I haven’t posted anything but presidential stuff for awhile now. Tis the season and all that. Although other things may come back soon, this is my main topic of interest at the moment.

Anyway, a reminder that of course in all this it is really number of delegates that count. And despite all the Iowa hype, Hillary is still ahead in delegates due to superdelegates that have already committed (of course they can change their minds).

I went looking for a place that had definitive delegate counts. CNN has pages for this. (It was just the first one I found…. it may or may not be the best such page.)

I’ll be bookmarking those, or something like it if I find a better source…

Anyway, current standings as of this moment:

Democrats (2025 needed to win):

  • 169 – Clinton
  • 66 – Obama
  • 47 – Edwards
  • 19 – Richardson
  • 17 – Dodd
  • 8 – Biden
  • 1 – Kucinich

Republicans (1191 needed to win):

  • 20 – Huckabee
  • 18 – Romney
  • 3 – McCain
  • 3 – Thompson
  • 2 – Paul
  • 1 – Guiliani

Of course, of these Dodd and Biden have already dropped out. Usually candidates who drop out either release their delegates to vote for whoever they want to, or ask them to please vote for someone that they specify. In this case though Biden and Dodd have dropped out so early that it doesn’t really matter. Now, they could theoretically still get more delegates, as they will likely still be on the ballot in a number of states, and could get enough votes for more delegates to be awarded to them… but in reality they had low support to begin with, and people rarely vote for the people who have dropped out, so that will also be a very minor effect if it happens at all.

Of course, one important thing to note is that even though a very small percentage of the delegates have already been awarded… and if we were in a world where each primary was indeed an independent event and was not influenced by the results of the previous primaries, then the results so far would be pretty insignificant and meaningless. But in the real world, the results of these early states is much more influential than the results of later states. Because of them candidates start dropping out. And the ones who do well get more money, to better compete in later states, and the ones that do less well get less money, and so are disadvantaged… plus people have a tenancy to get on the bandwagon and start voting for the winners. They stop voting for people who look like they are losing. So the later in the process you get, the less people vote for the people they really agree with or think would be best, and more start doing the “well, everybody else likes them, so I should too” sort of thing… Which is why Iowa and New Hampshire get this kind of attention.

If somebody (read Obama) starts running the boards and winning state after state, this could be over quickly (at least on that side). If on the other hand we start getting different winners in different states, then it could last longer. This could happen on the Dem side, but it seems the biggest chance for it lasting longer is on the Republican side. Huckabee in Iowa. McCain in New Hampshire. Maybe Romney manages to pull it out in South Carolina (although Huckabee is looking good there right now). Giuliani in Florida. Etc. That could just drag things out nicely…

If after Super Duper Tuesday on February 5th nobody has a commanding lead, then the rest of the season will (for once) be interesting. We shall see I guess. And before very long too.

Wyoming

There is only occasional off handed mention of the Wyoming caucuses tomorrow. They are very small, and pretty much none of the candidates has spent any time campaigning there or worrying about it. I don’t even know which places will be reporting the results and when. But I’ll be looking for it. It should be an interesting blip. Maybe precisely because it HAS been ignored.

Mean Prediction

Going to be a little mean here, but… as I mentioned in my pre-Iowa comments, and felt even more strongly now, I think Hillary will not get the Democratic nomination. I now further predict that within 12 months of her officially admitting defeat she will no longer be married to Bill Clinton. I think she will know that she won’t be trying this again in 4 or 8 years, and she won’t need him any more as a Senator. And she will be very bitter. And so the two of them will go their separate ways.

Dem Candidate Advice

I was going to do this on the next podcast, but then realized there would be debates before then, so here are a few thoughts.

For Clinton… and from what I’ve read about what she did on Friday, so far she is following this… resist the temptation to go negative. Contrast all you want, but if you actually start going negative, it will completely backfire. You will be done.

For Obama… at the debate this weekend, if Hillary crosses the line and gets even slightly mean and negative… just look over with that look you do and saw “Now Now Hillary, you don’t need to do that, you’re making yourself sound desperate.” She will get flustered and defensive. OK, it is a little condescending, but if you do it right, you’ll come out better.

For Edwards and Richardson… time to go home. Kucinich and Gravel too.

I was going to add some thoughts for each of the Republicans too, but I realized I don’t have many for them. Other than for Huckabee to stick to being himself and not try to pander, because the this is a nice guy who says what he believes, even if you disagree with it thing is his one possible source of appeal outside the evangelicals, and he needs that.