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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November 2008
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Electoral College: Last Minute McCain Surge?

Two states change status today, both in McCain’s favor:

Ohio (20 ev): After maxing out at an 8.2% Obama lead a week ago, Obama’s lead in Ohio falls below 5%, making it a swing state again, and putting it once again within reach for John McCain.

Virginia (13 ev): With a pattern very similar to Ohio, Obama maxed out with an 8.0% lead a week ago, but his lead in the five poll average drops below 5% today, making Virginia once again a swing state.

New summary:

McCain Best Case – Obama 278, McCain 260
Obama Best Case – Obama 406, McCain 132

If everybody gets their leans – 353 Obama, 185 McCain

Now, the bottom line remains the same as it has for quite some time. McCain can win all of his strong and weak states, plus all of the swing states, and he would still lose. However, it is important to note that his loss in that case is narrower than it has been in a couple of weeks, plus since then he’s taken the lead in a couple of states, and Obama’s had a couple of swing states weaken… most notably Pennsylvania. And Pennsylvania is at a 6.4% Obama lead now. Way down from Obama’s 12.0% peak.

So, once again gaming out what McCain would have to do to win given where things are now…

First he must win in ALL of the states he is ahead in.

Then he has to win ALL of the swing states Obama is ahead in (but barely): Florida (Obama ahead by 2.8%), Ohio (Obama ahead by 3.8%), North Carolina (Obama ahead by 0.4%) and Virginia (Obama ahead by 4.8%).

And then he must find 10 electoral votes by winning some combination of Pennsylvania (Obama ahead by 6.4%, 21 electoral votes), Colorado (Obama ahead by 7.2%, 9 electoral votes), Nevada (Obama ahead by 6.0%, 5 electoral votes) and New Mexico (Obama ahead by 8.3%, 5 electoral votes).

If McCain manages to pull that off by winning Pennsylvania, his move over the past few weeks into Pennsylvania will be hailed as genius just because he won. It won’t be true of course, there were better places he could have put his resources several weeks ago that he might have been able to move instead. But that will be forgotten if he actually manages it.

Right now in my charts, there is no McCain path to victory because he would not only have to win swing states, but take states where Obama is ahead by more than 5%. But if he manages to tighten Pennsylvania just a little bit more, there will be such a path, although still a very difficult one.

He has just over 50 hours before the first polls close on election day.

(Although, as noted in yesterday’s update the polls lag slightly, so if anything big changes in those 50 hours, the polls will probably be blind to it.)

There will be one more regularly scheduled update tomorrow, then starting at 00:00 UTC on election day, I will switch to updates whenever there are new polls… or actual election results as they get called. I will try to be as close to real time as I can manage.

On My Way to Victory!

Someone apparently found this post I made when filling out my primary ballot earlier this year. This person emailed me yesterday to know that they are writing me in for Washington Supreme Court Position #7. I’ll probably end up voting for myself again in the general election as well, since the person on the ballot still has no competition. So I’ll have a whole TWO VOTES! My nefarious plan to take over the whole world takes another step forward! :-)

Which reminds me, time is short. I need to start work on my general election ballot shortly.

Attack of the Snuggie!

I just saw this thing on TV…

And so I had to Google it. I found an story on it on Geekologie from last month. Some of the comments are great. Some highlights:

“I’ve got some bad news for you, Snuggie — you’re just a fucking robe.”

“YAY I can be Obi Wan AND comfy at the same time”

“It also comes in handy for those impromptu Pagan rituals that are oh so prevalent this time of year! YAY!”

“Worker – Boss, remember those really cheap ponchos we ordered? They all showed up slit up the back. Boss – Don’t worry, We’ll sell them to really stupid people as a blanket with sleeves.”

“I have a Cuddle Wrap which is pretty much the same thing. I’ve been known to wear it for several days straight when I become a deranged hermit in the winter months.”

“Didnt Alvin and the Chipmunks wear these like back in the 80’s?”

OK, McCain was Really Funny

He was relaxed. He seemed comfortable. He was self-depreciating. He was funny. He seemed like a nice guy. He looked and sounded like the “old McCain” from eight years ago.

If this was the McCain we’d been seeing since June, this would be a closer race than it is today.

And this may very well still give him a few points of lift before we get to Tuesday.

Cinema: Quarantine

So, I’ve once again been slow posting, but a couple of weeks ago, the three of us went out to the movies. This was an Amy and Brandy choice, and not the sort of movie I’d usually choose to go to, but I’d picked the last movie, so we went to Quarantine. I’d never heard of it at all before going, so other than Brandy and Amy telling me it was a horror/suspense sort of thing, I had no expectations whatsoever. It turns out it is actually a remake of REC a 2007 film from Spain. I put that film on my Netflix list. Sounds like it is pretty similar other than being in Spanish.

Anyway, the main interesting bit about this film, is the whole thing is done Blair Witch style with a handheld camera. This time instead of some random kids doing the camerawork though, it is a local news reporter working on a story of the average night in the life of a firehouse full of firefighters. There is about 20 minutes of just goofing around in the firehouse, then the alarm rings and the fun begins. It is not a fire though.

The go to a building for a medical situation, and then the building gets locked down. As the name would imply, there is a quarantine, and there is a highly contagious thing going around. The fear and suspense builds, and then you get the normal horror movie sort of thing where one by one the people get infected and/or killed.

I won’t give any more away, but I will say that it was pretty decent. I liked it. It was tense at time. At other points it was actually very funny. I’m not sure if it was SUPPOSED to be funny. But horrible things would be happening on screen, but the entire theater would just be laughing at it because it was, well, sort of funny.

The one other note I have, is that the people in the row behind us WOULD NOT SHUT UP FOR THE ENTIRE MOVIE. They were talking CONSTANTLY. Sometimes things about the movie, sometimes just random chatter. I wanted to scream at them, but I did not. I just sat there and stewed in my anger. I can’t stand it when people talk in movies. Reacting when things happen on screen, laughing, gasping, whatever… that is fine… and actually is one of the unique bits that going to the theater can bring that you don’t get watching a movie at home… but a constant stream of talking? And not just whispering either, but often full volume talking? That is just obnoxious and rude. Grrr…

Anyway, decent movie. Not amazing. Not worth a second view. But fine for killing a few hours on a weekend. It probably would have been OK to wait for the DVD though.