This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



April 2008

Remaining States

One last note on polls for today. has poll numbers for seven of the remaining ten contents on the Democratic side.

Rounding slightly, from my previous calculations (I didn’t redo them today) Clinton needs to pick up about 58% of all remaining delegates (including super delegates) in order to win.

In each of the seven states with polls, I renormalized the numbers to be out of 100% (essentially redistributing “undecided” and “other” evenly between Clinton and Obama) and then looked at the margins.

If we approximate things by saying that the Clinton percentage of popular vote arrived at this way will approximate percentage of delegates… here is how things look as of today using pollster’s trendline numbers.

  • Kentucky: Clinton 67%, Obama 33%
  • West Virginia: Clinton 65%, Obama 35%
  • Oregon: Clinton 60%, Obama 40%
  • Puerto Rico: Clinton 57%, Obama 43%
  • Indiana: Clinton 55%, Obama 45%
  • Pennsylvania: Clinton 53%, Obama 47%
  • North Carolina: Obama 60%, Clinton 40%

Now, looking here there are actually 3, maybe 4 states where Clinton is winning by big enough margins to be on pace to win if those votes were held right now. (In reality, the 58% or so she needs will change with the results of each state.) That is pretty strong.

More to the point, Obama is only clearly actually AHEAD in *one* state.

Basically Clinton’s path to the nomination is this… screw the current delegate count… win 8 or 9 out of 10 of the remaining votes. In aggregate, through this she will NOT be on the “winning pace”. Once all the votes are counted, she will probably need 65% or so of the remaining unpledged superdelegates to vote for her in order to win. Looking the other way, this means Obama only needs 35% of them to take the win. 35% is not a big number, surely Obama would be able to convince 35% of the remaining superdelegates.

But she will argue that she has the momentum, she is on a roll. She has won X number in a row. She will argue that the fact she is still behind is irrelevant. She may be able to find some combinations of counts that show her ahead in the popular vote. (Although there is no real popular vote count, as in many caucus states they only ever counted delegates won, and actual original votes were never counted.) And then she will say that because of this she deserves to win.

In the mean time, she will continue throwing the kitchen sink at Obama, and hoping that he stumbles and falls more. She wants to make him look weak and damaged coming out of this process. Then she continues to argue that because of that he can’t win. And that the Democrats have to pick her if they want to stand a chance. That picking Obama would be political suicide.

Will that manage to convince 65% of the remaining superdelegates? Will Obama be able to convince 35% or so to stick with him?

I don’t know.

The numbers are clear. She is badly behind. She should not be able to win.

But she does have a path to victory.

And there are ways I could see it play out that would result in her actually getting the nomination in the end.

I still think it is unlikely. But it is not impossible.

But to do it she will end up inflicting massive amounts of damage.

Very depressing.

Electoral College: Obama takes the lead when PA flips

What was I saying a few days ago about Obama’s streak of no good news on the Electoral college front? We had New Mexico flip on Saturday, and now…

Obama may be hurting in the Democratic primary in PA, but the exposure seems to be improving how he stands in the general election matchup polls against McCain. With the latest polls, PA flips from barely leaning McCain, to barely leaning Obama. But PA is a big state with 21 electoral votes, and PA flipping sides is enough to change the lead in the “if everybody gets their lean states” total. So Obama takes the lead.

In todays updates New Hampshire also strengthens for Obama going from a “Lean Obama” to a “Weak Obama” state.

We’re now down to only 11 states and 132 electoral votes in the “lean” category… basically the states that could very easily go either way. Now, that is still a lot, but it is less than it used to be. (And of course, still no polls in DC, but..)

Anyway, the summary numbers change:

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 331, Obama 207
Obama Best Case – Obama 342, McCain 196

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) – Obama 281, McCain 257

Still anybody’s game though, as those 11 states could easily go either way. Plus I’m sure both candidates (when the time comes) will put resources into trying to pull away some of their opponents bigger “weak” states as well. And of course, there are many months to go, and lots will happen between now and November.

But once the Democrats officially decide on a nominee (I’m betting June, but maybe August) expect a LOT of attention to be poured into those “lean” states.

(Also of course, as I’ve said before, there is still a small chance Clinton will be the Democratic nominee rather than Obama. This still seems quite unlikely at this time, although it is certainly not impossible. If Clinton ever takes the delegate lead, I’ll redo all these charts for Clinton vs McCain… which from what I have seen so far is a very different race. The dynamics are dramatically different in many states.)

Yup, Five Percent Didn’t Last Long

The trend lines in PA are more than 5% apart again based on new polls today which are all post-“bitterflap”. One week left to see how it all plays out in the end.

Drips and Drabs

This is getting annoying. One superdelegate each for Obama and Clinton.

One week until a real primary where more than just one or two delegates will get allocated.