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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@abulsme Updates from 2012-01-04 (UTC)

  • RT @kdrum: Update: How Iowa Really Works http://t.co/xZSZbeFU #
  • RT @joshtpm: Wow. Sounds like Perry’s pulling out. Didn’t say explicitly. But in election speak pretty clear. #
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: What if there’s LITERALLY a tie? #
  • RT @thinkprogress: Santorum up by 5 VOTES with 99% reporting. #
  • RT @HuffPostHill: In other news, Herman Cain got 58 votes. #
  • RT @thinkprogress: This page, which has been accurate all night, has Santorum up 34 votes with 100% reporting http://t.co/9viDUfDa #
  • RT @KenJennings Damn, if Perry drops out there is only one deeply closeted bigot named Rick left int he GOP field. So much for a deep bench. #
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: Google and CNN now agreed: Santorum 29,935, Romney 29,916, 5 precincts left” #
  • Such suspense! :-) RT @fivethirtyeight: Now 2 precincts left, Santorum up 18, according to both Google and CNN. #
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: One of the outstanding precincts is something called “Keokuk – Sigourney Plank Van Buren” #
  • Reading – Obama Says Bill Breaks with Our Values, Signs It Anyway (Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic) http://t.co/zi38E8V5 #
  • This is just awsome! ONE VOTE!! RT @thinkprogress: 2 precincts out, but Romney mysteriously goes up by 1 vote. http://t.co/9viDUfDa #acorn
  • Reading – White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars (Spencer Ackerman, Wired) http://is.gd/AacZ69
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: The Google spreadsheet has more votes counted than CNN and has Santorum up by 4. 29,968 to 29,964.
  • via @fivethirtyeight RT @cbsjancrawford: Romney team says he won by 14 votes. Just talked to state party officials.
  • Reading – Inside a Toddler’s Brain (Neato Bambino)http://is.gd/x5Z7S6
  • Finally official! RT @BreakingNews: Mitt Romney wins Iowa caucuses by 8 votes over Rick Santorum. – Iowa GOP chair
  • Via @fivethirtyeight RT @thecaucus: Iowa G.O.P. chairman says Romney has won with 30,015 votes to Santorum’s 30,007.
  • via @fivethirtyeight MT @RobertMackey: That means Romney got 6 votes less in these Iowa caucuses than in 2008.
  • Really gotta find tape of that interview Ivan did on @wrct883 with Santorum back around 1992ish.
  • Reading – Tied Iowa vote produces epic CNN night (Brendan Loy)http://is.gd/ZLkY0K – I was watching too. It was Epic! :-)
  • Reading – What We Learned From the Iowa Caucuses (Molly Ball, The Atlantic) http://is.gd/AmJStl
  • MT @JamieNBCNews: Bachmann has apparently cancelled her South Carolina trip; her campaign has called a press conference at 10amCT.
  • RT @jbplainblog: Delegates and the Ron Paul Strategy: He has a strategy to maximize delegates. It won’t matter.http://ow.ly/8hPSZ
  • RT @prwerdel: Today our thoughts are with all Americans Googling Rick Santorum’s name for the first time.

Delegate Update: Post Iowa

So… Iowa… that was exciting, wasn’t it? Romney wins by 8 votes over Santorum who surged ahead of Paul at the last minute. Romney’s total was also exactly 6 votes less than he did in the state in 2008. Fun. Anyway, that voting is just a non-binding preference poll. The real action was not covered at all basically, which was the election of delegates to the county conventions, which will in turn elect delegates to the state convention, which will in turn elect the actual delegates to the Republican National Convention. I have seen no reporting on the actual people elected as county delegates or what their presidential preferences are. Of course, even if there was such reporting, it is non-binding. But educated estimates can be made. I’m going by the estimates at thegreenpapers.com. They explain their methodology on their site. In any case, based on the Iowa results tonight, they estimate that the following delegates will eventually be won once the full process completes in June.

  • 6 delegates – Romney
  • 6 delegates – Santorum
  • 6 delegates – Paul
  • 4 delegates – Gingrich
  • 3 delegates – Perry

This is of course subject to change, as generally by the time we get to June, the delegates will be chosen based on the state of the race in June (most likely fully decided) rather than the results of the balloting that happened way back in January. But it is the best estimate at the moment.

Based on this, we generate the first meaningful update to this season’s graph. Remember, this is the percentage of remaining delegates each candidate needs to win, so LOWER is better on this chart. Since nobody actually took a majority, everybody actually goes UP today, so winning has actually gotten HARDER for everybody… but the people who did the best go up the least and are the best off. The Brown line represents the three leaders, Romney/Santorum/Paul who at this point each need 50.33% of the remaining delegates to win. Then Gingrich in red needing 50.42%, Perry in purple needing 50.46%. Bringing up the rear on the yellow line we have Bachmann and Huntsman needing 50.60% of the remaining vote to catch up and win.

We have guestimated 1.09% of the delegates available tonight. 25 delegates out of 2286 total. And of course we haven’t ACTUALLY awarded ANY delegates yet. So this is all really just about starting to build momentum. The numbers are still tiny compared with what is to come. But the process has begun!

Next up… New Hampshire with another 12 delegates next week. Woo! Romney is currently way ahead of the pack in the polls there, but still at less than a majority, but he’ll most likely pull away from Paul and Santorum there. And then there is South Carolina… then Florida… and then… and then… hopefully this will stay interesting for a decent bit of time, but you’ll be able to quickly tell as the race narrows.

Once a candidate’s % Needed number starts dropping significantly below the % of the delegates they actually have so far you know they are building the kind of lead would take a major collapse to stop. (At the moment Romney/Santorum/Paul have 24.00% of the delegates each, but need 50.33% to win, so the three leads are nowhere near that point yet.)

 

Greenpapers has Delegate Estimates! Thank You!

Thank you thegreenpapers.com! Someone actually doing the delegate estimating process! (Which of course I found minutes after posting my previous rant about how even though the “straw poll” is non-binding, there is process happening that should allow some delegate estimation and it is annoying that nobody was doing any delegate estimation at all! :-) )

Iowa Republican Delegation 2012

Here’s how we estimate the delegate count on 3 January 2012: (Note that zero national convention delegates are allocated during the Precinct Caucuses – national convention delegates are first elected in June.)

We will allocate the state’s 25 non-party leader delegates proportionally according to the popular vote for those candidates receiving 5% or more of the vote. This is a very rough estimate and is will change by the time the state convention meets.

As of 04:00 UTC they have this breakdown of Iowa’s 28 delegates:

  • 6 Delegates – Santorum
  • 6 Delegates – Romney
  • 6 Delegates – Paul
  • 3 Delegates – Gingrich
  • 3 Delegates – Perry
  • 3 Delegates – Party Leaders, what we called “super delegates” back in 2008, they will decide on their own, and no breakdown is given yet on if any of them have declared a preference.
  • 1 Delegate – Bachmann

I think I’ll be using Greenpapers as my primary source for my own delegate charts this cycle. Thank you Greenpapers. :-)

Oh, and of course Greenpapers has full national delegate estimates too.

Edited 04:17 UTC to reflect 28 delegates for Iowa and less superdelegates than I had originally stated.

Delegate Annoyances

It is annoying that the coverage is all concentrating on the raw initial preference vote in Iowa. Yes, there are no actual delegates to the national convention allocated tonight. But after the initial straw poll vote that is being reported on, the small number of people that actually stick around get to start voting for the delegates to the County conventions, which in turn will elect the delegates to the State convention, which will THEN elect the representatives to the national convention. This process won’t be complete in Iowa until June. But in other caucuses in other races, they try to use the selection of the county delegates to predict what the final mix of delegates will be that are eventually sent to the national convention. I’m really kind of annoyed that is not happening.

Because this initial vote DOES NOT MATTER in the delegate selection process. The voting for the delegates to the county convention is what actually matters for delegates, and IS NOT TIED to the initial straw poll vote. And most of the people leave after that first part it seems, so the actual delegates are determined by the really ardent and involved people who stay.

I’ve been picking up Alex and driving home, so I’ve been listening to streaming audio from CNN, not checking all the usual internet sources, so I don’t know what is being covered there, but in the parts I have heard, CNN hasn’t even mentioned the delegate process at all, and that just annoys me.

Of course, Iowa has 28 delegates out of 2286… 1.2%… Iowa really doesn’t matter very much at all in terms of delegates. And in previous cycles, by the time Iowa ACTUALLY gets around to allocating delegates in the summer, the winner is known, and the final delegate selections end up reflecting that reality rather than the results from January… (since none of the delegates to the county convention that are selected today are actuallY BOUND to continue to vote based on their preferences today).

So what ends up mattering out of Iowa is just the spin. Not who gets elected to the county conventions. Not even who wins the non-binding straw poll that decides no delegates. Just how people spin the results in terms of how the candidates did versus “expectations”.

All of which is very frustrating, because the only thing that SHOULD matter here is how the choice of delegates to the county conventions affects the chances of the candidates toward conventions to the national convention. Based on the preferences of the people selected for the county conventions you CAN do some projections of actual delegate counts. It is just nobody is even bothering to look at that part of the process. ARGH!

Things are rarely how they should be though, so we’re talking about the results of a non-binding straw poll instead of the process that actually allocates delegates instead. Sigh!

Oh well. Delegates will start coming in soon enough… :-)

In the mean time, with 88% reporting we have Santorum, Romney, Paul in that order, but very very close to each other. Which I guess is quite exciting in terms of being close and all…. But in the end, anything with Romney near the top ends up being good for Romney because nobody believes Paul can expand his support much beyond his core, and Santorum isn’t set up to compete much beyond Iowa… although a top 3 placement (let alone a win!) here may lead to a spike in fundraising and a bump elsewhere for Santorum… but…

Well, we will see I guess. I’ll stop fretting about the fact nobody is even trying to project national delegates based on county delegates and go with the flow and have fun with the tight three way battle in the non-binding straw poll. :-)

Edited 04:19 UTC to reflect 28 delegates for Iowa instead of 40.