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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September 2012
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@abulsme Updates from 2012-09-13 (UTC)

  • Reading – When You Learn They’re Not Ready (Josh Marshall) http://t.co/es6fwbpz #
  • MT @electionate: According 2 SurveyUSA, ballot issues on gay marriage and marijuana legalization lead by more than Obama in Washington State #
  • MT @DrewHampshire: It’s inappropriate to criticize POTUS during a foreign policy crisis – Everyone who ever criticized W’s Iraq/Afg policies #
  • Reading – GOP to Mitt Romney: You’re so vague (Jim Vandehei and Alexander Burns) http://t.co/MUFROCaI #
  • RT @markos: I don’t sense GOP panic anymore. Rather, it’s resignation that they’ve lost: http://t.co/MUFROCaI #
  • Reading – Mitt’s smirking disaster (Jed Lewison) http://t.co/eGf6AFPx #
  • EC Poll Update done for Thu Sep 13. Polls added in NM TX MT NY CA MI WA. Michigan moves. Blog post later today. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • MT @twitntwirp2012: @abulsme I can’t remember a campaign that looked so pathetic this early. Maybe they can turn it around but I doubt it. #
  • MT @twitntwirp2012: @abulsme Looks like Mitt’s Waterloo. He apparently was clueless. Think he starts to walk it back? I’d say 70/30 yes. #
  • @twitntwirp2012 I’m on record saying I think Romney has peaked, but not sure this latest thing will be one decisive thing. Lots of factors. #
  • @twitntwirp2012 I’d give more like 50/50 on walk back. Sometimes doing that is worse for you than just shutting up and hoping people forget. #
  • RT @ayeletw: Mitt Romney’s Slogan: “Vote for me. Because I really want to be president.” #
  • RT @jeffemanuel: Looks like those awful pictures of Stevens’ body being “dragged” may actually be images of people taking him to hospital. #
  • Time to read Google Reader & Twitter over lunch again. Cause the book I am reading now is an actual physical book (bleh!) & boring to boot. #
  • RT @CenteredPols: White House: Obama not skipping intel briefings http://t.co/aiaXN0K0 via @natlsecuritycnn #
  • Reading – White House threatens to veto GOP bill aimed at stopping defense cuts (Erik Wasson) http://t.co/H6aWRyWe #
  • MT @robertniles: Wish fundamentalist Christians, Muslims & Jews would find a way to have it out so they could leave the rest of us alone. #
  • Reading – Cameron wants 2 help Mythbusters prove Jack & Rose could not have both occupied that doorraft (Jamie Frevele) http://t.co/GSDkw7So #
  • Reading – So, What Do the Political Odds Markets Say About the Election? (Edward Tenner) http://t.co/xCs9O5tT #
  • Reading – QE3: Reactions to the Fed’s big stimulus move (Brad Plumer) http://t.co/lMYS2IFg #
  • Reading – The Next Industrial Revolution Starts in this 20-foot Shipping Container (Brent Rose) http://t.co/PlGP4gvu #
  • RT @FHQ: .@Jackabp Polls at this point in the race tend to overstate the support 3rd party candidates will actually receive on election day. #
  • RT @drgrist: Today’s lesson: there is nothing one can say about domestic policy so insane that elites will turn on you, but FP is different. #
  • Reading – Exploding the Reagan 1980 Comeback Myth (Nate Cohn) http://t.co/zLk8TxS3 #
  • RT @electionate: A startling number of people are struggling with the difference between unprecedented and impossible #
  • MT @natsecHeather why FP wonks so sad @abulsme MT @drgrist Nothing one can say abt Dom pol so insane elite will turn on u.FP=different #
  • @natsecHeather @drgrist Would it be better if there was also nothing so insane you could say on FP that elites would turn on you? :-) #
  • @natsecHeather @drgrist Or is it sad because you can still say pretty insane things about FP. :-) #
  • Lunch over. Back to work. Already in a work conversation. Woo! #
  • RT @natsecHeather We rarely have foreign policy conversations in politics except when someone sez something insane. @abulsme @drgrist #
  • @natsecHeather @drgrist Ah yes. Definitely. I can see that. #
  • MT @natsecHeather: @abulsme @drgrist viz. I am on @TheEdShow tonight about Romney FP. QED. Be nice 2 be on TV not because bad stuff happens. #
  • @natsecHeather @drgrist @theedshow I’ll try to @Tivo it. :-) #

Electoral College: Now the bounce? Michigan Goes Blue Again.

One change today.  After flirting for awhile with the idea of being a close state that might actually be in contention this election, Obama’s lead in Michigan is once again starting to open up:

Obama’s lead in the state is now just barely over my 5% threshold, so I move the state from “Leaning Obama” to “Weak Obama” and color it light blue on my map.  Basically, Obama is now far enough ahead in Michigan that it looks like a pretty safe bet that he will take the state in November.  But his margins aren’t so high that he should be taking the state completely for granted.  Given the right opportunity, Romney could still make it close again.

This means that I take the possibility of winning Michigan back out of Romney’s best case.  This leaves the new model summary as follows:

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 301 237
Current Status 219 319
Obama Best Case 180 358

At this level, Romney’s best case has him with 32 electoral votes more than he needs to win. Looking at this, he still has no “must win” states mathematically. Theoretically he could lose Florida (27) and still win if he won every other close state. Realistically speaking of course, if he is in a position where he loses Florida, it is highly unlikely that Romney would simultaneously win the rest of the close states. His paths to victory are a lot narrower without Michigan as a possible win.

Although there was the move toward Romney in Virginia in yesterday’s update, so far my prediction from last week that the beginning of September would be Romney’s post-primary high water mark is holding.  (I updated my post from yesterday to add a note that my original accidental implication that I had already been proved wrong was incorrect.)

It has only been a week though.  And it has not been a great week for Romney.  Romney may still have some good weeks left in him before this is all said and done.

Obama has a big advantage at the moment.  Romney has a really hard road to go to make this really competitive.  Being in a spot where you essentially have to sweep all of the close states (most of which you are behind in at the moment) in order to win is not where you want to be in mid-September.  Especially as a challenger.  But it is not over yet…

Note: Chart and map from the Abulsme.com 2012 Electoral College Prediction page. Both assume Obama vs Romney with no strong third party candidate and show polling as it currently exists. Things will change before election day. On the map red is Romney, blue is Obama, gold states are too close to call. 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.