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2008 vs 2012 After Louisiana

I had promised an update of the 2008 vs 2012 frontrunner graph after Louisiana.  I had thought we would have about 52% of the delegates allocated (or estimated) at this point, but I was wrong.  States responsible for about 52% of the delegates have “started their process” according to Green Papers, but not all of those delegates are determined yet, for a variety of reasons.  Instead, we are only at about 47%.

52% is a good place to compare because that is where things were in 2008 right after Super Tuesday was all settled.  In 2008 we were closest to the 47% mark on February 7th, which was after Super Tuesday, but still with only partial results from those contests.  So the comparison will be better after we get past that point.

In any case, here is the update after Louisiana:

Romney is still behind McCain’s pace four years ago, but not by very much.  It isn’t a dramatic difference.  It just FEELS like it is because of the very different calendars in 2008 vs 2012.  But really, the two candidates are tracking each other pretty closely by this analysis.

The chart by Seth at Enik Rising still shows a much bigger apparent difference.  (As of when I write this, he has updated for Illinois, but not Louisiana.)

In my previous analysis I’d determined that the two graphs actually have very similar data.  The difference in how they are perceived is due to three main factors:

  • I connect the dots for each day, while ER does a linear regression.  Since ER’s linear regression includes data from after when McCain was the clear winner in 2008, it pulls the McCain line up further on his chart than if he only included data up to the same % we are in the 2012 race.
  • I have daily data points from both 2008 and 2012, compared to data only with the final full results at ER.  The partial results in the days after Super Tuesday in 2008 keep McCain’s line a little lower than if you had just drawn a straight line from before Super Tuesday to the first data point after complete Super Tuesday results were available.
  • He’s got a taller vertical scale, which means psychologically the vertical gaps look bigger on his chart than mine, even if they are really about the same.

Anyway, interesting to look at the data in these two different ways.

DC, Maryland and Wisconsin happen on April 3rd…  all winner take all.  There are no polls in DC and Maryland, but those don’t seem like Santorum country.  The most recent poll in Wisconsin, a Rassmussen poll (the only one taken in March so far) has Romney ahead.

If Romney does win all three of those contests, we’ll be at 51% of the delegates allocated (or estimated) and Romney will ALMOST have caught up to McCain’s pace in 2008.  (Romney will have 29% of the total delegates, where at the comparable point McCain had 30%.)

We’ll see if that is how it plays out.  I’ll do another update of this chart after we have those results.

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