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 2012

@abulsme Updates from 2012-04-24 (UTC)

Electoral College: Arizona Swings Again

Chart and map from the 2012 Electoral College Prediction page. Both assume Obama vs Romney with no strong third party candidate. Both show polling as it currently exists. Things will change before election day. Lines on the chart represent how many more electoral votes a candidate would have than is needed to tie under several different scenarios. Up is good for Obama, Down is good for Romney. On the map red is Romney, blue is Obama, gold states are too close to call.

Today Arizona moves from “Weak Romney” to “Lean Romney”, which makes it a swing state in our model.

Starting with this update, when a state changes status, I’ll also show the polling history for that state, so the trend is visible.


Looking at the above you can see that the last five polls goes back more than three months. You can see the spread within those five polls. Seeing this information visually can help interpret the movement being discussed. In this case, Arizona goes back into the swing state category after a relatively short period as a “Weak Romney” state (since March 16th). There are a couple data points that look like they might be outliers but which still affect the average. And of course you can see that the 5 poll average is just barely in the less than 5% swing state zone. The next poll could easily change the category again.

This change improves Obama’s “best case” where we give him all of the swing states.

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 271 267
Current Status 206 332
Obama Best Case 170 368

I’ll also note that movement in the national level polls toward Romney we talked about in previous updates seems to have been short lived. Looking at the RCP Poll Average Obama dropped from a lead of 5.3% on April 11th to a lead of only 1.7% on April 18th, but as of April 24th has rebounded to a lead of 3.7%. If the move toward Romney had been sustained, I would have expected to see a lot of state polls moving in Romney’s direction over the next few weeks. With the current trend that is no longer a safe assumption.

As things ebb and flow we will probably see movement toward Romney, but it won’t be the state polls catching up to the Romney spike of last week. It would be new changes based on new events.

But my general philosophy is that while the national polls are a leading indicator for the state polls and there is a strong correlation between the national popular vote and the electoral college, the real race is still the 50 separate state elections. That is how presidential elections work. So one gets a better picture of the dynamics by looking at the state numbers… although you need to be cognizant of the slower pace of state polling and interpret things accordingly. So we shall not speak of national level polls again.

Uh, unless there is something really interesting there to talk about. :-)

Edit 2012 May 2 13:08 UTC – Adjusted horizontal scale on Arizona graph

2012 Republican Delegate Count: Minnesota Update… Big Win for Ron Paul

Charts from the 2012 Republican Delegate Count Graphs page. When a candidate gets down to 0%, they have clinched the nomination. If they get above 100%, they have been mathematically eliminated. The first chart is by date, the second is by “% of Delegates Already Allocated”. These numbers include estimates of the eventual results of multi-stage caucus processes which will be refined as the later stages occur.

As I mentioned Sunday, Minnesota finished up Congressional District Conventions over the weekend. These determine 24 of the 40 delegates for Minnesota. (13 more will be determined at the state convention in a few weeks and the last three are superdelegates.) Of those 24 delegates, 20 went to Ron Paul, 2 went to Santorum, and the other 2 were filled by delegates with unknown preferences.

The Green Papers estimate for Minnesota’s 40 delegates prior to these results was Santorum 17, Paul 10, Romney 6, Gingrich 5 and 2 yet to be determined. Obviously given the CD Convention results, this estimate needed to be revised.

The way Green Papers did this was to use the CD results then allocate the 13 delegates which will be determined at the state convention according to the February caucus results. (Then add in the one super with a known preference.) I would have allocated by analogy to the CD results instead, but this works.

With that, the new estimate is Paul 24, Santorum 8, 2 Romney, 2 Gingrich, with 4 yet to be determined. This makes Minnesota the first state where Paul has “won” the state… meaning he has more delegates than anyone else according to current estimates. (He is also currently tied in the estimates for Iowa, but may pull ahead by the time that process finishes.)

In any case, these new estimates give us a net change for the day of Paul +14, Gingrich -3, Romney -4, Santorum -9.

This is a big enough victory for the day that Paul actually improves his position in the race… which is a pretty tall order for any non-Romney at this stage. For today anyway, Paul is on a pace to catch up and win the nomination! Of course, most days won’t be like today. Structurally they can’t be. But hey… Good day for Ron Paul! Just a bit too little and too late to actually do much other than embarrass Romney a little.

So, in terms of “% of Remaining Needed to Win”:

  • Romney: 39.9% -> 40.2%
  • Santorum: 79.4% -> 80.1%
  • Gingrich: 89.7% -> 89.8%
  • Paul: 96.8% -> 95.3%

Next up… actual new primaries! New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware should all have results in my next update. It will be interesting to see how big the non-Romney delegate haul is. At this point, votes for non-Romneys are essentially anti-Romney protest votes and Paul die-hards. Romney needs 40.2% of the delegates to be on pace to win. With Santorum out and Gingrich’s campaign in sleeper mode, this should be a fairly easy target. If he doesn’t manage that… he’ll still be the nominee… but people would call out his continued failure to wrap this up.

He will almost certainly get the 40% he needs though. Who are we kidding, this is over.