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



February 2008

Post-Super Tuesday Delegate Graphs

So, I wouldn’t be surprised if CNN continues to tweak their delegate counts a bit between now and tomorrow. If so, I’ll have another update. BUt as of right now, here is what things look like when we look at the whole year so far. This includes additional updates since the end of my “every half hour” effort at 12:00 UTC.

The trend I mentioned for Obama within the Super Tuesday results obviously applies overall. When one looks at these total numbers, which include CNN’s estimate of superdelegates, the story is just one of Obama slowly but surely continuing to erode Clinton’s initial lead. When we started the year, that gap was 37.8% (based only on early pledging superdelegates) to only 4.9% as of right now. Yesterday that gap was 17.8%. That is a HUGE closing of the gap. Any spinning of yesterday’s results any other way seems somewhat dishonest to me.

Another important note. From CNN’s totals, in terms of delegates who have been directly “earned” through primaries and caucuses, Obama is actually AHEAD by a margin of 603-590-26. But Hillary has 193 superdelegates to Obama’s 103, which puts her ahead in total delegates at 783-709-26. Now, this is with CNN’s methods of estimating super delegates. Pretty much every news outlet has different counts for those folks based on how they determine the leanings of the superdelegates and how hard the superdelegates have to lean in order to count. So different outlets will have different counts for the totals. I’m sticking with CNN mainly because that is who I started with. But the point here… it is damn close. And certainly within the margin of the superdelegates. Which of course brings up the very interesting possibility that if current trends continue, we may get to the convention with Obama having more of the primary/caucus delegates, but with Clinton being pushed over the top by SuperDelegates. That would be a VERY interesting convention… and I imagine there would be a lot of unhappy people.

Also, while I note that these delegate estimates are indeed estimates, and may continue to be updated and modified as we go on… I would actually be surprised if they don’t. But, as of when I pulled numbers from CNN’s site about 45 minutes ago the net results for the day in delegate totals were that Clinton went from 232 to 783, an increase of 551 delegates. Meanwhile Obama went from 158 to 709, an increase of… 551 delegates.

551 to 551. If anybody at all is on TV talking about how EITHER Clinton or Obama “won” SuperTuesday, ignore them. They are idiots. It was a tie.

A tie however favors Obama, because Hillary was ahead on delegates coming in, so a tie in new delegates results in him catching up further in percentage terms.

In terms of additional delegates, in order to have a majority when she comes to the convention, Hillary would have to get 49.1% of all remaining delegates. Obama would need 52.0% of all remaining delegates. If Edwards were to jump back into the race now, he would need to win 79.0% of all remaining delegates in order to win. (I think we can say there is no chance of that last unless both Clinton and Obama are hit by meteors from space or whatnot.)

OK, Republicans. McCain gains a big lead, jumping from 43.3% to 55.4% of delegates. Romney did indeed have a really bad day. Despite his wins, he plummeted from 41.1% which was within spitting distance of McCain, down to 26.3%. Once can understand why he would not be happy. Huckabee rises from 12.9% to 16.7%. Good for him. He went up. But he is still so horribly behind. The people who are doubting him as the new clear alternative to McCain are I think just deluding themselves. It is just too little too late. Now, if Romney drops out and Huckabee is able to pick up a lot of his support… maybe. But it would still be hard, and would depend on exactly what the rules are on how delegates can switch around after their candidates drop out, which I am not sure of on the Republican side. Lets run the numbers like I did for the Democrats above.

In order to come to the convention with a majority McCain needs to win 46.0% of the remaining delegates. Romney would need 67.5%. Huckabee would need 74.5%. Paul would need 85.7%. Now, again, those percentages might change a bit if people drop out depending on the rules for what happens to those delegates at that point. But even 67.5% would be a huge margin of delegates to start collecting for someone who’s average has been more like 25%. Let alone the even rougher numbers for the other two candidates.

I really do think that absent a MAJOR unexpected event that would put McCain out of contention, he has this wrapped up. Anybody spinning this in any other way is just looking for ways to prolong things, but they are not being realistic.

OK, a couple more things.

First, for anybody who has any doubt of how BIG Super Tuesday was, and how insignificant everything else so far was except in terms of momentum, here are the graphs of raw delegate counts (rather than percentages) so far:

And one more thing. Since I started writing this post CNN has added 65 more delegates to their counts for Democrats, and 59 more for Republicans. So these numbers are indeed still changing. So I’ll have another update tomorrow. But I imagine that none of the general conclusions above will change all that much, just some adjustment around the edges.

Those Cable Cuts

By they way, I haven’t posted anything on those cuts of trans-oceanic internet cables that have been happening over the last week or so. But I have been paying attention. We are apparently now up to five such cables out of commission. There has been some hype about this knocking Iran completely off the Internet. That does not seem to be true. But there is still an issue with major communications channels to large parts of the world being cut.

The first reports said a ship had dropped anchor in a bad place and accidentally cut a cable. Later reports denied that. And as mentioned, we are now up to five cable cuts. Some reports are saying things like “this is starting to look suspicious”. Duh. One or MAYBE two might just be an accident. Having a coincidence on three is already stretching things. But five in a week? This can’t just be coincidence? Can it? Sometimes coincidences happen… but…

It certainly seems like somebody is definitely up to some mischief here. Who and for what purpose should now be the question.

Any one of you networks type guys reading this have any thoughts?

Super Tuesday Half Hour by Half Hour

OK, below are the charts I did last night updating the delegate percentages every half hour as results came in. This covers 0:00 UTC to 12:00 UTC. This is basically the first 12 hours after polls closed, not counting West Virginia’s Convention. After that, I started to let myself drift off to sleep. I am still annoyed at myself for not having done readings at 0:00 UTC, 0:30 UTC and 1:00 UTC. Oh well.

On the Democratic side the story is simple. The more results came in, and the more delegates were allocated, the more Obama closed the gap with Clinton. The two candidates are a lot closer together now than they were yesterday. But Clinton ended up still ahead.

On the Republican side, there were more dramatic ups and downs. But basically McCain jumped out to a huge lead. It was slowly eroded over the course of the evening, but at the end was still a huge lead. Huckabee moved up, Romney moved down. But both are very far behind McCain.

Romney over 25% of Delegates

As of 11:00 UTC, Romney slips just over the 25% mark.

Republicans: McCain 57.6%, Romney 25.1%, Huckabee 15.8%, Paul 1.5%

Democrats: Clinton 52.1%, Obama 46.2%, Edwards 1.6%

McCain below 60% again, Huckabee above 15%

A big update on the Republican side at 9:00 UTC. My headline just mentions McCain and Huckabee because they crossed arbitrary lines, but McCain’s drop is paired with a rise for Romney as well as Huckabee. At this hour we now have McCain 57.4%, Romney 25.0%, Huckabee 16.0%, Paul 1.6%. (That 25.0% for Romney is actually 24.975%, so he hasn’t actually gone above 25% yet.)

So maybe I spoke a little prematurely about just how unrealistic Romney or Huckabee catching McCain is. I don’t think I did actually, I think my statement will end up being accurate, but let me let the rest of the results finish coming in before I open my mouth again. :-)

All the proportional states and their slow counting… I’m ready for my instant gratification damn it! Hurry up with the counting!

Obama over 45% of Delegates

Slowly but surely over the course of the evening, Obama’s percentage of the delegate total has been increasing. It just went over 45% for the first time. Yesterday the gap between Clinton and Obama was 17.8%. As of right now (just after 8:30 UTC) that gap has narrowed to 7.1%. And the night is not quite done yet, they are still counting up delegates and it looks like that will continue for hours more. But right now we have Clinton 52.6%, Obama 45.5%, Edwards 1.9%.

The spinmeisters are going nuts on all sides trying to make it seem like the results are stongly in favor of their candidate. But it is looking like the overall narrative that emerges will hopefully be a better reflection of reality… which is that the gap between these candidates has been narrowed significantly (it will be a bunch more hours before we know exactly where it ends up) and this is basically a completely dead even race right now. Any advantage either candidate has after today will be slight.

So at least the next month of primaries and caucuses will “matter”. (Including the Washington State caucuses where I am.) And we get another month of delegate counting as each contest passes by. After tonight is finally done, next stop is Saturday. Then Sunday. Then Tuesday.

This will be a busy week.

But nothing else in the calendar will be anywhere near as big as tonight. From now on it is a long series of individual spaced out events. (With a few clumps, but small clumps.)

And this is a good thing, I can’t do that many all nighters any more! :-)

Huckabee under 15% Again

I definitely am getting tired, I missed that at the 7:30 UTC update Huckabee fell below 15% again by a small margin. At that time the “score” was McCain 62.4%, Romney 21.5%, Huckabee 14.8%, Paul 1.3%. In the last hour CNN hasn’t made any further updates to those numbers.

I’ve also been getting annoyed with the talking heads on TV who are trying to claim that this is now a two way race with McCain and Huckabee, or that all three candidates are still in this race. I’ll wait to post something with the actual numbers until we have pretty final delegate counts, but suffice it to say that the mathematics is just against it. The percentages that Huckabee and Romney would need to catch McCain are just completely unrealistic. The only way it could happen is something completely drastic and unexpected… such as McCain having a health crisis and having to drop out.

Anyway… I’ll talk about this again sometime after the numbers are final.

Huckabee over 15% of Delegates

Things are moving slowly, so I’ll do 5% boundaries now too. :-)

Huckabee just went over 15%. On the Republican side we are now at McCain 61.2%, Romney 22.1%, Huckabee 15.3% and Paul 1.4%.

Yes, Paul got some more delegates and went above 1% again.

On the Dem side, although Obama went above 40% and Clinton dropped below 55% when we first started the evening, nobody has passed a 5% line since then. Oh, except Edwards, who fell below 5% at my 3:00 UTC update. In the last hour or so both Clinton and Obama have been rising while Edwards drops. New totals are Clinton 54.1%, Obama 43.5%, Edwards 2.4%.

PS: I know that most likely none of my readers at all are following these updates as I make them, and by morning the blow by blow of the evening will be irrelevant and only the final totals will matter, but I’m having fun, so I don’t care. :-) I am getting tired though. But this is likely to go straight through to morning. I’ll have to decide if at some point I want to stop. I’ve got at least a few hours left in me though.

Huckabee over 10% of Delegates

OK, so Huckabee reversed things in the last half hour and got himself a bunch of delegates. He’s back over 10% now. So it is now McCain 61.9%, Romney 23.0%, Huckabee 14.2% and Paul 0.9%.

And that brings up another milestone. I was only going to post when candidates passed 10% marks, or each other, but this is another important one. Ron Paul just fell below 1% of the delegates. Poor Ron Paul.

Meanwhile, CNN hasn’t updated delegate totals on the Democratic side in an hour and a half. WTF is up with that?

Huckabee below 10% of Delegates

This half hour (4:00 UTC) Huckabee just dropped below 10% of the delegates. He seemed all excited about his wins tonight, but the truth is that he is just falling further behind. He may be staying in it to the end and all, but… he just ain’t doing well. At the moment in terms of delegate totals we have McCain 66.3%, Romney 23.4%, Huckabee 9.3%, Paul 1.0%.

Anyway, on the other side the Democratic side is frustrating. A lot of states have been called already, but actual delegate counts are just slowly dribbling in as the evening progresses because of the fact that delegates are allocated by district and so results from each district are really needed before anybody can say anything. For instance, in the last half hour several states were called, but there were no changes to the delegate count. So the delegate balance is moving very slowly, not by big leaps. Right now in terms of delegate totals we have Clinton 54.4%, Obama 40.9%, Edwards 4.7%… which isn’t that far from where we were yesterday (55.8% to 38.0% to 6.3%).

Obviously those totals are expected delegates from the whole race so far, not just delegates from tonight.