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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April 2008
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A Better Look at the Race

Starting today, a new chart. The chart above (click through for a full size version) shows the percentage of the remaining delegates that a candidate needs to get in order to get to the magic 2025 delegate number which will secure the nomination. I’ve been reporting this number for awhile now in my blog updates on the delegate race, but I think it helps to see it in this chart. (To be clear in case it isn’t obvious, on this chart going up is bad, moving down is good.)

These numbers, more so than any of the numbers being reported or looked at, gives the best picture of where the race really is, and what the “momentum” toward winning really is. This trend is absolutely clear at this point. Obama pulled ahead on February 13th and since then there have been only TWO DAYS (March 5th and March 22nd) where Clinton managed to move things in a direction that favored her. In the first case her gains were reversed within one day. In the second case it took 11 days. But then in each case, the trend toward it being harder for Clinton to win and easier for Obama to win has continued.

And at this point we have so few delegates remaining that even when a single superdelegate declares their preferences you can see these lines move visibly. And given where we are today, Clinton needs to get almost 2 delegates for every 1 delegate Obama gets in order to move her line in a direction favorable to her. So far, that just is not happening.

This is the chart that should be plastered all over the newspapers and the television every time there is any discussion of the state of the Democratic race. All of this talk of states being “won” or “lost” and the “momentum” coming out of those wins is complete bullshit. It is about delegates. And right now Clinton needs to get 61.2% of all remaining delegates in order to win. And that percentage has been increasing practically every single day for the last three months. As every day goes by, with each new batch of primary results or superdelegate announcements, it has been getting harder and harder for Clinton to win. But is that what we hear from the so called analysts of this race? No, not at all. Of course not. Why would we have any sort of analysis that was based on the actual mathematics of the race. Oh yeah, that’s right, “Math is Hard”. Bleh.

Now, she *has* gotten that percentage in at least a couple of states… Arkansas and New York come to mind. But it is very very rare, and very difficult. And to get the win she needs to reach that sort of percentage in ALL of the remaining 9 primaries *and* get that percentage of the remaining superdelegates. Many of these last 9 primaries are well made for Clinton. She may even reach that sort of percentage in West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico. Maybe. It is within the realm of possibility. But not in the rest. And the superdelegates certainly haven’t been moving in the ratios she needs.

Case in point, lets get to today’s actual delegate update.

Three new superdelegate declarations this time. Two for Obama, One for Clinton.

Updated stats:

The new delegate count is: Obama 1727, Clinton 1589, Edwards 19

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.7%, Edwards 0.6%

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 713 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 298 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 436 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 41.8% of the remaining delegates to win.

Clinton needs 61.2% of the remaining delegates to win.

(Still no update on the final 2 Democratic delegates from the Pennsylvania primaries, or on ANY of the delegates from the Republican Pennsylvania primaries.)

A Proposal for a Split

Why don’t we just go ahead and split the Democratic party in two pieces and let all three of these folks run in the general? McCain would probably get the most electoral votes in that scenario, but probably not a majority, thus throwing the election into the House of Representatives, and then they can pick the winner there. Would that work for everybody? Yes? Good. Lets just do that. We need a strong third party anyway, and splitting one of the ones in half would do that nicely.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Ivan Under the Sea

Sam and Ivan talk about:

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  • CNN International
  • Global Food Crisis
  • Ivan’s Crappy Connection
  • Ivan Reviews Unbox
  • Pentagon Domestic PsyOps
  • Those Wacky Democrats
  • What Day is it Again?

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Electoral College: Obama strengthens in Massachusetts

Surprisingly, given how the last few weeks have gone for Obama, today brings some good news for him on the Electoral College front vs McCain. If you just take where all the states (including “leaning” states) seem to be right now, he is still losing. But Massachusetts support seems to be strengthening as my “last five poll” average from that state pulls it from “leaning Obama” to “weak Obama”. Basically this means that McCain winning Massachusetts is no longer in the “McCain Best Case” scenario.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 345, Obama 193
Obama Best Case – Obama 330, McCain 208

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) – McCain 278, Obama 260

Edwards Makes His Move!

No, there are no updates on those last two remaining Democratic delegates from PA. Nor has CNN finally gotten around to posting Republican delegate results for PA.

But we do have the results from the latest stages of Iowa’s multi-stage delegate selection process. And the net result? Obama *loses* one delegate… and Edwards (remember him) picks up a delegate. Will this just be the beginning for Edwards? Nah… but still…

Meanwhile, some superdelegate moves. One Mississippi superdelegate flips from Clinton to Obama. Plus Obama picks up a superdelegate in Oregon.

Net result today, Obama gains a delegate, Clinton loses one, Edwards gains one.

Updated stats:

The new delegate count is: Obama 1725, Clinton 1588, Edwards 19

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.7%, Edwards 0.6%

(Before PA it was: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%)

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 716 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 300 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 437 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 41.9% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 42.9% before PA.)

Clinton needs 61.0% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 59.3% before PA.)

The Good Reverend

I have no idea if Rev. Wright “hates America”. I’m thinking probably not. But it is certainly clear that he is not very fond of Barack Obama. Because if he was, then he would have just hidden under a rock and shut the hell up until at least November. As it is, he just single handedly destroyed Obama’s chances of winning Indiana. Good job there.

Third Round of PA Delegate Updates

6 more delegates from PA determined. We now have 156 out of 158. Almost done.

Today we also have 2 superdelegate declarations.

In PA today 4 delegates went to Obama, and 2 to Clinton. The total for PA is now 83 Clinton, 73 Obama. (That’s 53.2% Clinton as opposed to the 59.3% she needed to be on pace to win the nomination.)

The superdelegates split evenly, with 1 each to Clinton and Obama.

So, new stats:

The new delegate count is: Obama 1724, Clinton 1589, Edwards 18

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.7%, Edwards 0.5%

(Before PA it was: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%)

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 717 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 301 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 436 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 42.0% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 42.9% before PA.)

Clinton needs 60.8% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 59.3% before PA.)

Note: CNN still has not posted PA delegate results on the Republican side.

Second Round of PA Delegate Updates

We now have another 52 delegates from the Pennsylvania primaries, bringing us to 150 out of 158 accounted for. We also got three new superdelegates declaring.

Of the new delegates since yesterday from Pennsylvania, Obama picked up 23 and Clinton picked up 29. This brings their totals for the primary take so far to Clinton 81, Obama 69. Clinton has gotten 54.0% of the Pennsylvania delegates so far. If you remember, she would have needed 59.3% to be on a “winning pace” for the nomination.

In terms of the three superdelegates, 2 went to Obama, 1 went to Clinton. She’s not picking those up at the ratio she needs either.

Updating all the totals:

The new delegate count is: Obama 1719, Clinton 1586, Edwards 18

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.7%, Clinton 47.7%, Edwards 0.5%)

(Yesterday it was: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.6%, Edwards 0.6%)

(Before PA it was: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%)

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 725 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 306 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 439 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 42.2% of the remaining delegates to win.

This is DOWN from the 42.4% it was yesterday and the 42.9% it was before PA.

Clinton needs 60.6% of the remaining delegates to win.

This is UP from the 60.1% it was yesterday and the 59.3% it was before PA.

Today’s update did not make things any better for Clinton, it just continued to make her road to the nomination more difficult.

I’m hearing a bit more about this in the media than I was yesterday, but there is still quite a bit about Clinton’s “momentum”.

Look, here is the deal. There are 9 primaries plus the superdelegates left. Of the 9 primaries, 2 have no polls at all (Guam and Montana), 5 have Clinton ahead in the polls (Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Puerto Rico and West Virginia) and 2 have Obama ahead (North Carolina and South Dakota). So Clinton will probably win a bunch more primaries before this is over. She will be “Winning”. She will have “Momentum”. But only in a couple of those states is she winning by enough of a margin to be on a pace to “catch up”. Her only hope would be for superdelegates to break for her by an overwhelming margin… but so far they have not been. So far she has gotten 52.3% of superdelegates who have declared a preference. In recent weeks her percentage has been much lower. In NONE of this is she on a pace to win unless something dramatic changes in the nature of the race.

And yet we go on. Because Clinton is hoping that in the months left before the convention, one of those dramatic changes happens… because if something really dramatic happened to damage Obama, the supers could start going for her at a greater pace… indeed, some who have already declared may even change their minds.

So… we’ll go through this and see if something dramatic does indeed happen that lets Clinton change the terms here and start getting on pace to win.

Final note: There should be Republican delegate count updates from Pennsylvania, but CNN is slacking off because that nomination is already determined, and has not posted any delegate updates for that side yet. The one interesting note on that side is that despite having wrapped up the nomination long ago, McCain only managed 73% of the vote. 16% went for Ron Paul and 11% for Huckabee.

First Round of PA Delegate Updates

Only 98 of 158 delegates have been called so far on the Democratic side, and CNN hasn’t bothered to predict a single delegate on the Republican side, but there have been no updates in the almost three and a half hours since my last post so I figure I’ll go ahead and do my update for Wednesday.

You can see on the chart at a visible narrowing of the gap between Obama and Clinton. That is of course the result of the delegates declared so far from the Pennsylvania Primary.

Lets run the numbers.

The new delegate count is: Obama 1694, Clinton 1556, Edwards 18

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.6%, Edwards 0.6%

(Yesterday it was: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%)

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 780 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 331 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 469 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 42.4% of the remaining delegates to win.

This is DOWN from the 42.9% it was yesterday.

Clinton needs 60.1% of the remaining delegates to win.

This is UP from the 59.3% it was yesterday.

Bottom line, based on the results so far from the Pennsylvania primary…

Hillary Clinton is WORSE OFF TODAY THAN SHE WAS YESTERDAY.

Not that you could ever tell that given the media coverage.

After Four Hours

98 of 158 delegates predicted (62.0%)

52 Clinton, 46 Obama

Clinton’s Percentage: 53.1%, less than the 59.3% she needs.

Obama’s Percentage: 46.9%, more than the 42.9% he needs.