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 2012-09-27 (UTC)

  • Reading – Republicans are losing ground up and down the ballot. But why? (Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake) http://t.co/T1zTP4e2 #
  • Reading – Site improvements (and Bayesian jealousy) [Sam Wang] http://t.co/wqEed642 #
  • Reading – Sept. 25: Romney’s Narrow Path Without Ohio (Nate Silver) http://t.co/2NVmjlMt #
  • Reading – Why don't Iranians wear ties? (BBC) http://t.co/Soj8nRJa #
  • Reading – The Coming Romney Comeback Narrative (Robert Wright) http://t.co/o9VdFIpM #
  • Reading – Obama Mulls Competing for Arizona (Taegan Goddard) http://t.co/ceKOw0vK #
  • Reading – Is Paul Ryan right that Obama’s Foreign Policy is Blowing up in Our Faces? (Juan Cole) http://t.co/YDAGkqAe #
  • EC Update for Thu Sep 27 Done. New polls added in OH FL MD MA PA CO IA MO. FL and IA change categories. Blog post soon. http://t.co/kF2iz3uE #
  • Reading – Conservative Polling Alternative Plans Expansion (Ruby Cramer) http://t.co/uRCdD6Dh #
  • Reading – New Obama Ad Simply Replays Romney's '47 Percent' Comments (Pema Levy) http://t.co/Pxb082vF #
  • Important stuff. I think I am here too. This -> Reading – Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama (Conor Friedersdorf) http://t.co/h7tg68be #
  • Yes. Not sure much more downside though. RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Is it safe to say that the #MittRomney campaign is in free fall? #
  • Have not looked in detail, but willing to trust the pollsters know their craft. RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Wha’d u think of his methods? #
  • MT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme Interesting article. I’m not there but this country needs to have a frank disc abt war powers & the role of gov #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign I've been wanting to do a long post on the issues that are most important to me & where that leaves my vote. No time yet. #
  • Reading – When 'Everyone Is Qualified' (Ta-Nehisi Coates) http://t.co/bDHtQ7dk #
  • Reading – Is the GOP Still a National Party? (Daniel McCarthy) http://t.co/eiE5UU4T #
  • Reading – ACLU documents show increasing phone and internet surveillance by Department of Justice (Adi Robertson) http://t.co/RvmMEyHG #
  • MT @RBReich: Ds must not be complacent. Tween now & Election: 2 unemployment reps, 3 prez debates, huge $$ from Rs, and voter suppression. #
  • Reading – Iran Close to Making a Bomb, Netanyahu Says (Rick Gladstone) http://t.co/wXMHAFbK #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: 1/2 @abulsme I look forward to reading it and perhaps, making a few rebuttals. #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: 2/2 @abulsme I've always maintained that there are some real arguments to be made against our President. #
  • MT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme However, the opp party seams unwilling or unable to make these args, but instead offer shameless demagoguery. #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign What I would write would not be argument against Pres. Just outline of which issues most important to me & view on those. #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign From there one could naturally move toward "Which candidate is closest to my own views in the areas most important to me?" #
  • .@thoughtndesign I suspect result would not be Obama. Or Romney. Probably Johnson. See quiz I posted last month: http://t.co/oNFAG9VD #
  • .@thoughtndesign I have not yet set aside time to do a deep dive on Johnson though. Would need to do so before ACTUALLY voting for him. #
  • RT @ThoughtnDesign: @abulsme I took that quiz. Wouldn't it be a Hell of a country if elections were determined by quiz? #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign I actually think that might be a good idea. :-) #
  • .@ThoughtnDesign And your results were… #

Curmudgeon’s Corner: A Bizarre Person who is not Mainstream

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Dumb Phones / iPhone 5
  • iOS 6 / Apple Maps / YouTube App / Podcast App
  • Child Wrangling / Election Update / 47% / Romney Taxes

Recorded on 23 Sep 2012

Length this week – 1:16:02

 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes Download MP3 File
 View Podcast in iTunes  View Raw XML Feed

Electoral College: Romney Implosion Continues… He’s Done, Obama Wins, Lets All Go Home!

The title on this post is perhaps a bit hyperbolic, but only a little bit.  Romney is way behind in the Electoral College race.  He has been all year.  He has NEVER been in the lead.  As of yesterday’s update even if Romney won every close state he would still lose.  With today’s update two more previously close states move toward Obama, making Romney’s best case an even bigger loss and putting him in the worst position he has ever been in… by far.

Both changes today just barely take states out of my competitive zone, so new polls in the next few days could easily reverse today’s changes.  But even if that happens, the picture for Romney remains bleak.

He needs a massive turn around in his fortunes to make this race competitive again, let alone to win.  Impossible?  No.  But increasingly unlikely?  Yes.  To come back and win at this point Romney needs something huge that turns everything on its head.  Could a big black swan event happen?  Maybe.  But aside from that, he is done.  This is over.

Lets look at the details.  From lower electoral college weight to higher:

Iowa (6 electoral votes) had consistently shown a small Obama lead in the five poll average.  Always close.  Always a state Romney could potentially flip.  But then the convention happened, and 4 out of the 5 polls since then have shown Obama with a lead of more than 5%.  (The one outlier is a poll actually showing Romney ahead by 3%.)  Today the five poll average hits 5% (exactly) and so I move the state from “Lean Obama” to “Weak Obama”.  If the election was held today, this isn’t a state where you would think Romney had a chance.  It is now out of reach.

As usual, I must say this is “for the moment”.  The five poll average now sits at exactly 5%.  The next poll could move the state back into competitive territory.

And now the big one…

Florida, with 29 electoral votes, was by far the largest of the close states.  It has gone back and forth between a Romney lead and an Obama lead in the five poll average, although most of the time there has been a small Obama lead.  But it has been close and competitive nearly all year.  With today’s update Obama’s lead hits (exactly) 5%.  So the state moves from Lean Obama to Weak Obama.  As with Iowa, Florida is just barely in this category.  The very next poll could make things look more competitive.  And we probably should expect some “reversion to the mean” as we go forward.   For the moment though, this means that even in Romney’s best case where he wins all the close states, he still loses Florida.

Without Iowa and Florida as Romney possibilities, where do things stand?

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 225 313
Current Status 191 347
Obama Best Case 191 347

Ouch.  Ouch.  Ouch.

Yesterday I said:

So how lopsided does this matchup need to look at this stage in the game to start just saying outright that absent an event of cosmic proportions the race is over and Obama will certainly win?  We are very very close.  It is tempting to just say so right now. But I will hold off a little bit.

But if Romney’s best case gets ANY worse…  or if there is no major move in Romney’s direction starting in the next week or two…  then it will be very difficult to construct Romney win scenarios with a straight face…

I still feel a little hesitant about outright saying this is over.  There is still after all more than a month for Romney to turn things around.

But Romney’s best case DID get worse.  Yesterday Romney already would lose even if he won all of the close states.  Today, with Iowa and Florida also moving out of reach, Romney’s best case is starting to look like not just a loss, but a very comfortable Obama win.

Iowa and Florida today, and Ohio from yesterday, and maybe some of the other “Weak Obama” states, could move back and get closer before the election.  This would not be surprising at all.  In fact it would be surprising if Romney slipped too much further behind.  At some point he has to rebound a bit, right?  But even if he starts closing the gap and stops the free fall, it looks like a really tall order to actually pull ahead.

Even at his best point this year the most Romney could say was that if he flipped a few more states from Leaning Obama to Leaning Romney he could win.  He was never actually ahead.  Even if he does well in the next few weeks, is there anything that indicates he could improve on his position from the beginning of September when he last peaked?  Because even then, he was losing.  Just by less.

Yes, there could be more bad economic news.  Yes, Obama could start making huge mistakes and somehow screw this up.  But the magnitude of what would be necessary to reverse this gets larger by the day and the scenarios less likely.

At this point Romney needs Obama to catastrophically implode.  That is unlikely.

This is done.  Obama wins.

Uh…  umm….  unless Obama himself screws it up, or something completely unexpected of epic proportions happens.

Gotta always add the caveats.  :-)

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.