Archives: April 2008

Wed 30 Apr 2008

A Better Look at the Race



Starting today, a new chart. The chart above (click through for a full size version) shows the percentage of the remaining delegates that a candidate needs to get in order to get to the magic 2025 delegate number which will secure the nomination. I've been reporting this number for awhile now in my blog updates on the delegate race, but I think it helps to see it in this chart. (To be clear in case it isn't obvious, on this chart going up is bad, moving down is good.)

These numbers, more so than any of the numbers being reported or looked at, gives the best picture of where the race really is, and what the "momentum" toward winning really is. This trend is absolutely clear at this point. Obama pulled ahead on February 13th and since then there have been only TWO DAYS (March 5th and March 22nd) where Clinton managed to move things in a direction that favored her. In the first case her gains were reversed within one day. In the second case it took 11 days. But then in each case, the trend toward it being harder for Clinton to win and easier for Obama to win has continued.

And at this point we have so few delegates remaining that even when a single superdelegate declares their preferences you can see these lines move visibly. And given where we are today, Clinton needs to get almost 2 delegates for every 1 delegate Obama gets in order to move her line in a direction favorable to her. So far, that just is not happening.

This is the chart that should be plastered all over the newspapers and the television every time there is any discussion of the state of the Democratic race. All of this talk of states being "won" or "lost" and the "momentum" coming out of those wins is complete bullshit. It is about delegates. And right now Clinton needs to get 61.2% of all remaining delegates in order to win. And that percentage has been increasing practically every single day for the last three months. As every day goes by, with each new batch of primary results or superdelegate announcements, it has been getting harder and harder for Clinton to win. But is that what we hear from the so called analysts of this race? No, not at all. Of course not. Why would we have any sort of analysis that was based on the actual mathematics of the race. Oh yeah, that's right, "Math is Hard". Bleh.

Now, she *has* gotten that percentage in at least a couple of states... Arkansas and New York come to mind. But it is very very rare, and very difficult. And to get the win she needs to reach that sort of percentage in ALL of the remaining 9 primaries *and* get that percentage of the remaining superdelegates. Many of these last 9 primaries are well made for Clinton. She may even reach that sort of percentage in West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico. Maybe. It is within the realm of possibility. But not in the rest. And the superdelegates certainly haven't been moving in the ratios she needs.

Case in point, lets get to today's actual delegate update.

Three new superdelegate declarations this time. Two for Obama, One for Clinton.

Updated stats:

The new delegate count is: Obama 1727, Clinton 1589, Edwards 19

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.7%, Edwards 0.6%

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 713 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 298 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 436 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 41.8% of the remaining delegates to win.

Clinton needs 61.2% of the remaining delegates to win.

(Still no update on the final 2 Democratic delegates from the Pennsylvania primaries, or on ANY of the delegates from the Republican Pennsylvania primaries.)


Abulsme - Wed, 30 Apr 2008, 06:29:38 PDT
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Tue 29 Apr 2008

A Proposal for a Split

Why don't we just go ahead and split the Democratic party in two pieces and let all three of these folks run in the general? McCain would probably get the most electoral votes in that scenario, but probably not a majority, thus throwing the election into the House of Representatives, and then they can pick the winner there. Would that work for everybody? Yes? Good. Lets just do that. We need a strong third party anyway, and splitting one of the ones in half would do that nicely.


Abulsme - Tue, 29 Apr 2008, 19:12:23 PDT
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Curmudgeon's Corner: Ivan Under the Sea

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Ivan's Portuguese
  • CNN International
  • Global Food Crisis
  • Ivan's Crappy Connection
  • Ivan Reviews Unbox
  • Pentagon Domestic PsyOps
  • Those Wacky Democrats
  • What Day is it Again?
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Abulsme - Tue, 29 Apr 2008, 13:51:02 PDT
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Electoral College: Obama strengthens in Massachusetts



Surprisingly, given how the last few weeks have gone for Obama, today brings some good news for him on the Electoral College front vs McCain. If you just take where all the states (including "leaning" states) seem to be right now, he is still losing. But Massachusetts support seems to be strengthening as my "last five poll" average from that state pulls it from "leaning Obama" to "weak Obama". Basically this means that McCain winning Massachusetts is no longer in the "McCain Best Case" scenario.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 345, Obama 193
Obama Best Case - Obama 330, McCain 208

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - McCain 278, Obama 260


Abulsme - Tue, 29 Apr 2008, 08:25:59 PDT
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Edwards Makes His Move!



No, there are no updates on those last two remaining Democratic delegates from PA. Nor has CNN finally gotten around to posting Republican delegate results for PA.

But we do have the results from the latest stages of Iowa's multi-stage delegate selection process. And the net result? Obama *loses* one delegate... and Edwards (remember him) picks up a delegate. Will this just be the beginning for Edwards? Nah... but still...

Meanwhile, some superdelegate moves. One Mississippi superdelegate flips from Clinton to Obama. Plus Obama picks up a superdelegate in Oregon.

Net result today, Obama gains a delegate, Clinton loses one, Edwards gains one.

Updated stats:

The new delegate count is: Obama 1725, Clinton 1588, Edwards 19

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.7%, Edwards 0.6%

(Before PA it was: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%)

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 716 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 300 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 437 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 41.9% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 42.9% before PA.)

Clinton needs 61.0% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 59.3% before PA.)


Abulsme - Tue, 29 Apr 2008, 06:54:09 PDT
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Mon 28 Apr 2008

The Good Reverend

I have no idea if Rev. Wright "hates America". I'm thinking probably not. But it is certainly clear that he is not very fond of Barack Obama. Because if he was, then he would have just hidden under a rock and shut the hell up until at least November. As it is, he just single handedly destroyed Obama's chances of winning Indiana. Good job there.


Abulsme - Mon, 28 Apr 2008, 20:21:20 PDT
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Fri 25 Apr 2008

Third Round of PA Delegate Updates



6 more delegates from PA determined. We now have 156 out of 158. Almost done.

Today we also have 2 superdelegate declarations.

In PA today 4 delegates went to Obama, and 2 to Clinton. The total for PA is now 83 Clinton, 73 Obama. (That's 53.2% Clinton as opposed to the 59.3% she needed to be on pace to win the nomination.)

The superdelegates split evenly, with 1 each to Clinton and Obama.

So, new stats:

The new delegate count is: Obama 1724, Clinton 1589, Edwards 18

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.7%, Edwards 0.5%

(Before PA it was: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%)

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 717 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 301 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 436 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 42.0% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 42.9% before PA.)

Clinton needs 60.8% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 59.3% before PA.)

Note: CNN still has not posted PA delegate results on the Republican side.


Abulsme - Fri, 25 Apr 2008, 08:46:21 PDT
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Thu 24 Apr 2008

Second Round of PA Delegate Updates



We now have another 52 delegates from the Pennsylvania primaries, bringing us to 150 out of 158 accounted for. We also got three new superdelegates declaring.

Of the new delegates since yesterday from Pennsylvania, Obama picked up 23 and Clinton picked up 29. This brings their totals for the primary take so far to Clinton 81, Obama 69. Clinton has gotten 54.0% of the Pennsylvania delegates so far. If you remember, she would have needed 59.3% to be on a "winning pace" for the nomination.

In terms of the three superdelegates, 2 went to Obama, 1 went to Clinton. She's not picking those up at the ratio she needs either.

Updating all the totals:

The new delegate count is: Obama 1719, Clinton 1586, Edwards 18

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.7%, Clinton 47.7%, Edwards 0.5%)

(Yesterday it was: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.6%, Edwards 0.6%)

(Before PA it was: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%)

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 725 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 306 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 439 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 42.2% of the remaining delegates to win.

This is DOWN from the 42.4% it was yesterday and the 42.9% it was before PA.

Clinton needs 60.6% of the remaining delegates to win.

This is UP from the 60.1% it was yesterday and the 59.3% it was before PA.

Today's update did not make things any better for Clinton, it just continued to make her road to the nomination more difficult.

I'm hearing a bit more about this in the media than I was yesterday, but there is still quite a bit about Clinton's "momentum".

Look, here is the deal. There are 9 primaries plus the superdelegates left. Of the 9 primaries, 2 have no polls at all (Guam and Montana), 5 have Clinton ahead in the polls (Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Puerto Rico and West Virginia) and 2 have Obama ahead (North Carolina and South Dakota). So Clinton will probably win a bunch more primaries before this is over. She will be "Winning". She will have "Momentum". But only in a couple of those states is she winning by enough of a margin to be on a pace to "catch up". Her only hope would be for superdelegates to break for her by an overwhelming margin... but so far they have not been. So far she has gotten 52.3% of superdelegates who have declared a preference. In recent weeks her percentage has been much lower. In NONE of this is she on a pace to win unless something dramatic changes in the nature of the race.

And yet we go on. Because Clinton is hoping that in the months left before the convention, one of those dramatic changes happens... because if something really dramatic happened to damage Obama, the supers could start going for her at a greater pace... indeed, some who have already declared may even change their minds.

So... we'll go through this and see if something dramatic does indeed happen that lets Clinton change the terms here and start getting on pace to win.

Final note: There should be Republican delegate count updates from Pennsylvania, but CNN is slacking off because that nomination is already determined, and has not posted any delegate updates for that side yet. The one interesting note on that side is that despite having wrapped up the nomination long ago, McCain only managed 73% of the vote. 16% went for Ron Paul and 11% for Huckabee.


Abulsme - Thu, 24 Apr 2008, 08:45:07 PDT
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Wed 23 Apr 2008

First Round of PA Delegate Updates



Only 98 of 158 delegates have been called so far on the Democratic side, and CNN hasn't bothered to predict a single delegate on the Republican side, but there have been no updates in the almost three and a half hours since my last post so I figure I'll go ahead and do my update for Wednesday.

You can see on the chart at a visible narrowing of the gap between Obama and Clinton. That is of course the result of the delegates declared so far from the Pennsylvania Primary.

Lets run the numbers.

The new delegate count is: Obama 1694, Clinton 1556, Edwards 18

In percent terms that is: Obama 51.8%, Clinton 47.6%, Edwards 0.6%

(Yesterday it was: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%)

2025 delegates are needed to win.

There are 780 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 331 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 469 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 42.4% of the remaining delegates to win.

This is DOWN from the 42.9% it was yesterday.

Clinton needs 60.1% of the remaining delegates to win.

This is UP from the 59.3% it was yesterday.

Bottom line, based on the results so far from the Pennsylvania primary...

Hillary Clinton is WORSE OFF TODAY THAN SHE WAS YESTERDAY.

Not that you could ever tell that given the media coverage.


Abulsme - Wed, 23 Apr 2008, 00:21:16 PDT
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Tue 22 Apr 2008

After Four Hours

98 of 158 delegates predicted (62.0%)

52 Clinton, 46 Obama

Clinton's Percentage: 53.1%, less than the 59.3% she needs.

Obama's Percentage: 46.9%, more than the 42.9% he needs.


Abulsme - Tue, 22 Apr 2008, 21:01:06 PDT
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After Three Hours

77 of 158 delegates predicted (48.7%)

40 Clinton, 37 Obama

Clinton's Percentage: 51.9%

Way less than the 59.3% she needs.


Abulsme - Tue, 22 Apr 2008, 20:03:04 PDT
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That Didn't Last Long

68 out of 158 delegates (43.0%) now predicted. It is now Clinton 37, Obama 31. Clinton's percentage is down to 54.4%... below the 59.3% pace she needs to actually make the rest of the race easier for her rather than harder.


Abulsme - Tue, 22 Apr 2008, 19:24:20 PDT
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After Two Hours

As of two hours after the polls closed, CNN has projected 47 of the 158 delegates (29.7%). Of those, Clinton has 28, Obama has 19. Clinton's percentage is 59.6%... which is ABOVE the 59.3% she needs to be on a "winning pace" for the nomination. If she keeps up this delegate margin for the rest of the night, this will ACTUALLY be a significant victory for her rather than just a spin victory.

Keep watching those delegates. Ignore the popular vote numbers. They don't matter.


Abulsme - Tue, 22 Apr 2008, 19:02:32 PDT
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Bot Magic

To whatever botnet has been spamming using my email address as the "From:" over the last 24 hours or so, thank you very much for the hundreds and hundreds of bounce messages. I do love them.


Abulsme - Tue, 22 Apr 2008, 18:55:21 PDT
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As Expected

About 5 minutes ago CNN declared their projection for Clinton in PA. Popular vote of course. No word yet on the margin in popular vote, let alone the margin in delegates, which is what matters.

Of course, Hillary getting over 50% of the popular vote is *NOT* worth even looking at. As I talked about yesterday the only number worth actually watching is if Clinton wins enough delegates to make the percentage of delegates she needs in the rest of the race SMALLER rather than LARGER. In order to do that, she needs to win 94 of the 158 delegates at stake tonight. That is the only number that matters.

Or at least it is the only number that SHOULD matter.

(If you are looking at CNN's screens and see the occasional delegate total, be careful, they are showing Pennsylvania superdelegates who declared before today as well as new delegates from today, don't get confused between the two.)


Abulsme - Tue, 22 Apr 2008, 18:07:19 PDT
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Frustration

Polls close at 00:00 UTC. I have meetings until 01:00 UTC. Ones that are important and I should be at. If it isn't close, I may miss the network calling it. Boo Hoo. :-( Well, as soon as the meeting is out at 01:00, I'll have CNN on Slingbox via my phone... Hopefully I won't miss anything really good in that first hour of coverage.


Abulsme - Tue, 22 Apr 2008, 15:34:00 PDT
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Falling is not Fun (Still Hurts)



(That's my left leg, thigh area... 58 hours or so after my fall down the stairs... Yum!)


Abulsme - Tue, 22 Apr 2008, 02:56:40 PDT
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Last Delegate Update Before Pennsylvania



CNN does a last update catching up on final tallies for various states. They updated counts in DC, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico and Ohio. End result, Clinton picks up 6 more delegates, Obama picks up 4.

Given this is just a few hours before the polls open for a long awaited primary, let me do a full run down on the current stats.

There are 4048 democratic delegates.

3170 have already been pledged to a candidate or have stated a preference for a candidate.

That leaves 878 delegates left to be determined.

158 are at stake in the Pennsylvania primaries which start in a few hours.

Right now the count is: Obama 1648, Clinton 1504, Edwards 18

In percentage terms that is: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%

2025 delegates are needed to win.

Obama needs 377 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 521 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 42.9% of the remaining delegates to win.

Clinton needs 59.3% of the remaining delegates to win.

Specifically in terms of tomorrow, that means that in order to be "on pace" to win the nomination, the candidates need to get more than the percentages above.

If they get better than the percentage given, then they will need a LOWER percentage in all the remaining contests (including the contest among the remaining superdelegates) to win. If they get less than the percentage given, then they will then need a HIGHER percentage in all the remaining contests.

Specifically, since there are 158 delegates at stake that means:

Obama needs to win 68 or more delegates of the 158 to be on pace to win.

Clinton needs to win 94 or more delegates of the 158 to be on pace to win.

Note, this is NOT the popular vote. It is about delegates. We'll start getting popular vote estimates as soon as the polls close. It may be many hours later before we get delegate estimates. If Pennsylvania follows the pattern of many of the previous states, it may actually be DAYS (or even longer) until we get a full accounting of all 158 delegates here.

The media will be all over the popular vote margin. Most likely about just what percentage margin Hillary is winning by. (Absent an Obama upset of course.) But if you are watching any of this, just remember that the POPULAR VOTE NUMBERS ARE IRRELEVANT!!!!! The *only* thing that matters is the delegate count. The popular vote count only matters in that it is a rough predictor of the delegate count before real delegate counts are available.

Don't watch the popular vote numbers, watch the delegate counts. As mentioned, it may take a long time before all 158 are accounted for, but look at the percentages.

Is Clinton getting 60% of the delegates? If so, she is doing what she needs to do and it will be a really huge important night for her. If not.... then despite however much anybody is talking about her "win" she will actually have a MORE DIFFICULT ROAD to the nomination, not an easier one.

We shall see. I'll post a delegate update sometime in the evening, but chances are things will still be in flux at that point and we'll have to wait a bit before we know what really happened.

I don't expect that will stop the press from calling a Clinton win 30 seconds after the polls close and then spending the rest of the evening talking about her popular vote margin and how it stacked up to "expectations". And then it will be all about whose spin manages to win the night.

But if you want to know what is really happening rather than just being spun, just watch the delegate numbers, and see which candidate is at or above the pace they need to win.

[Edit 23 Apr 2008, 07:37 UTC - Fixed Typo on Obama percentage, I had miscopied 56.8% as Obama's number when I was looking at Edwards numbers and misread the decimal point. The correct number is now above... 52.0%.]


Abulsme - Tue, 22 Apr 2008, 01:21:23 PDT
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Mon 21 Apr 2008

Poll Ups and Downs

I've been watching the pollster.com PA Page over the last couple of weeks. You can't just look at the line today, as when they get new polls the "past" of the line changes as well as the present, but what I've seen watching it day to day is this trend in Clinton's lead:

  • Right before "bittergate": 4.4%
  • After the worst of bittergate: 6.4%
  • Obama's maximum recovery: 5.1%
  • Now: 6.9%
It seems like post-debate and as we run into the stretch the undecideds are breaking for Hillary. She is NOT anywhere close to the 20% margin (in delegates, not popular vote) to really be on pace to catch up on delegates. But she *is* within reach of the 10% or so "big victory" that will undoubtedly have the press falling all over the Hillary momentum story.

Bleh.

[Edit 10 minutes later: Changed now number from 7.1% to 6.9%, I subtracted wrong.]

[Note 30 minutes later: More polls coming in, now number is now 6.1%]

[Note at 16:34: Yet more polls, now 6.0%]

[Note at 23:37: Even more polls, now 6.3%]


Abulsme - Mon, 21 Apr 2008, 06:55:48 PDT
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Curmudgeon's Corner: Popes, Potters and Pennsylvania

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Pope Visit
  • Disputed Elections
  • Harry Potter Intellectual Property
  • Matt Colbert
  • Pennsylvania Primary
  • Pennsylvania Debate
  • Food Riots
  • The Rest of the Race
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Abulsme - Mon, 21 Apr 2008, 01:17:32 PDT
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Electoral College: PA Keeps Flipping, McCain Back in Lead



New poll in PA and my rolling average once again flips which side of the "leaning" fence it is on. This time PA goes from Leaning Obama back to Leaning McCain. PA is just a close state. If this keeps up, it could be the Florida of 2008.

Anyway, Pennsylvania flipping changes the lead, and McCain is once again ahead if you give everybody their leaning states.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 357, Obama 181
Obama Best Case - Obama 330, McCain 208

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - McCain 278, Obama 260

Have I mentioned this is still insanely close?


Abulsme - Mon, 21 Apr 2008, 00:48:08 PDT
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Sun 20 Apr 2008

Down the Stairs

About eight hours ago, while we were delivering Amy to sing at a fundraising thing at a convention center about 30 minutes north of home, I decided it would be a fun thing to do to completely lose my footing on a staircase at said convention center. The soles of my shoes were wet from the sleet rain mix outside. As I started down the stairs my feet just completely slipped out from under me. From witness reports (Brandy) I flailed about a bit as I fell as I fell and I bounced a couple of times as I slid down several steps making nice "clunk clunk clunk" noises before coming to a rest face down on the stairs. Brandy says it was quite amusing to see, as I landed in a position completely reversed from the direction I had been walking.

No permanent injuries or anything, but my left leg was quite bruised and scraped up... as was my ego since a decent number of people saw me do it. I rapidly limped back to the car while Brandy finished getting Amy settled.

Anyway, as I write it still hurts and such. I'm sure it will be nicely black and blue in the morning, at least the parts that aren't red from the scrapes.

But as mentioned, nothing serious. Just a nice fun tumble down the stairs. They should make an amusement park ride out of it or something. :-)


Abulsme - Sun, 20 Apr 2008, 01:07:47 PDT
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Fri 18 Apr 2008

White Stuff

It can't decide between hail and snow, so it keeps switching back and forth. But whatever it is, someone needs to tell it that it is April 19th and it is time to stop.


Abulsme - Fri, 18 Apr 2008, 22:41:31 PDT
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Test Results

For anybody who might be curious, they found... absolutely nothing. Well, nothing of significance. He made note of a few things, but nothing that would be contributing to any problems. Which I suppose is good in that it eliminates various things that might have been possible that could have been problematic.

He did note that based on my last scans (a couple months ago) I only have one kidney stone left in me at the moment, down from around 10 in a scan several years ago. I've been slowly getting rid of them and not making any new ones.

Also, a blood test from earlier showed elevated levels of some hormone that relates to how the body processes calcium, so he's going to have me see another specialist to look into that, but he thinks that is not going to be an issue, as my actual levels of calcium are just fine.

And he mentioned that the recurring UTIs probably ARE directly related to the stones, with the stones giving bacteria places to hide essentially.

All of the above though are related to non-invasive tests from earlier though. From today he just determined that everything up in there looks fine.

Which, as I mentioned, is good.

As for the test itself... I don't want to be doing anything like that again for a good long time.


Abulsme - Fri, 18 Apr 2008, 21:02:05 PDT
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Electoral College: Many New Polls, Uncertainty Increases



SurveyUSA released 15 new state by state polls today. Of those, 4 caused status changes in my rolling averages. In order of electoral votes:

  • Ohio (20 ev) moved from weak McCain to leaning McCain
  • Virginia (13 ev) moved from weak McCain to leaning McCain
  • Missouri (11 ev) moved from leaning McCain to weak McCain
  • New Mexico (5 ev) moved from weak Obama to leaning Obama
The end result of all that is 27 more electoral votes are now in the "leaning" categories, meaning the number of states and electoral votes that really could very easily go either way is increased dramatically over yesterday. The range between McCain's best case and Obama's best case is widening again reversing a narrowing trend from the last few weeks.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 357, Obama 181
Obama Best Case - Obama 330, McCain 208

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - Obama 281, McCain 257


Abulsme - Fri, 18 Apr 2008, 16:42:20 PDT
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Ohio Gives Some Late Love to McCain



Don't know how, don't know why, but CNN just added some delegates to their totals for McCain. 6 delegates total. All were from Ohio. 3 pledged delegates, 3 "Unpledged RNC" (which is the Republican equivalent of a superdelegate).

Obviously this changes absolutely nothing about the state of the Republican race.

But hey, six more for McCain. Woo! Go McCain!


Abulsme - Fri, 18 Apr 2008, 15:40:43 PDT
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Thu 17 Apr 2008

You're Putting a Camera WHERE??

I'm taking Friday off from work because just over 17 hours from now I'm going to be doing this. Or perhaps I should say I'll be having it done to me. I am not looking forward to it at all. In fact, quite the opposite. And while theoretically after it is done I could come back in to work for the afternoon, I have a feeling that I will just want to go home and curl up in a ball.

I told the doctor I wanted to be more agressive about figuring out the underlying cause to the recurring kidney stones and UTIs I've had periodically (and with increasing frequency) since 1996 rather than just treating the symptoms when it happens.

But now I'm thinking maybe dealing with a little discomfort for a week or so once every few months isn't actually that bad, and maybe I was a little hasty.

Gulp.


Abulsme - Thu, 17 Apr 2008, 17:00:21 PDT
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Electoral College: Obama weakens in Colorado



More bad state by state poll news for Obama. Colorado slips from "Weak Obama" to "Lean Obama" putting it in that "could really go either way" category. This improves McCain's best case numbers.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 352, Obama 186
Obama Best Case - Obama 308, McCain 230

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - Obama 281, McCain 257

Notice how much better McCain's best case is than Obama's best case. Even though the "every body gets their leans" number is in Obama's favor at the moment, the range of possible outcomes here gives many more ways for McCain to win than Obama has.

If you were forced to pick a winner today based on current polls, it would almost certainly be McCain. Of course, we have many months to go, and a "bounce" is expected whenever the Democrats finally pick a nominee. But still...


Abulsme - Thu, 17 Apr 2008, 09:47:39 PDT
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CNN Catches up on Counts



CNN's intern has apparently been asleep at the switch in recent days/weeks, because all of a sudden they do a big update on their delegate counts, presumably just catching up with developments they missed when they actually happened because they figured people weren't paying attention or some such. The way they display their data makes it impossible to completely dissect the changes, but there were updates in the delegate counts in at least seven states, plus there were some new superdelegate revisions.

All together, Obama gets 4 new pledged delegates and 8 new superdelegates while Clinton gets 7 new pledged delegates and 2 more superdelegates. Net is Obama gains 12 while Clinton gains 9. Turns out this ratio is pretty close to the ratio of delegates they already had, so this has very little effect on the percent of delegates each candidate has.

Since I haven't mentioned the actual numbers in awhile, here they are.

Right now Obama has 52.0% of the delegates, Clinton has 47.4% and Edwards has 0.6%.

More importantly though, there are 888 delegates left that have not been allocated or who have not declared a preference.

To win Clinton needs 527 of them (59.3%).
To win Obama needs 381 of them (42.9%).
To win Edwards needs... well, Edwards can't win. :-)


Abulsme - Thu, 17 Apr 2008, 08:47:43 PDT
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Wed 16 Apr 2008

90 Minutes Later

Caught up on my news feeds. Looks like almost all the Democratic leaning blogs agree with my comments on the questions being horrible, while some right leaning blogs really liked them. Most people all around though seem to think that Clinton did much better than Obama. When I was grading them question by question, I gave both Clinton and Obama six questions, and thought four were ties. So I really didn't see that. Although in my count Obama only caught up near the end, for most of the debate I had Clinton ahead. And I can certainly see looking back that Clinton was a bit more energized, and Obama was on the defensive a LOT. In the end though, I'll stick by my conclusion that this debate won't make much difference one way or another... well... at least I'll stick by that for now.


Abulsme - Wed, 16 Apr 2008, 23:17:36 PDT
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After the Debate

I remained spoiler and spin free, having not watched, listened to or read anything about the debate until I watched it straight through myself. Having just finished, my thoughts:

  • I am glad someone told them during one of the breaks to stop looking up at the audience and start looking at the questioners and the cameras, they were both looking like idiots.
  • I can't believe they spent the entire first 45 minutes of the debate on bullshit stuff like Bosnia, Flag Pins, Joint Tickets, the small town comments, etc. This is all the kind of stuff that pundits can spend time blabbing about, but none of them are actually worth time in a real debate. Talk about stuff that matters please.
  • Otherwise, I counted who I thought did better question by question for the whole debate. I think as a whole it was a draw. Nobody threw any knockout punches, nobody made any big mistakes. I don't think this debate will end up effecting the dynamics of the race in either PA or in general much... if at all.
At least that is my thought unspoiled by other people's thoughts. Now it is time to watch a bunch of commentary on it, and read even more. I'll find out if my thoughts are in line with others, or if I'm completely out on my own. :-)


Abulsme - Wed, 16 Apr 2008, 21:52:42 PDT
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Almost Debating

The Pennsylvania Democratic debate starts at 00:00 UTC... just over 15 minutes from now. In the normal case, I would have left work a little early and run home to be sure I could watch it live. But no... ABC is delaying it for the West Coast. It will not be on until 03:00 UTC here. Hours after it happened. Which is just ridiculous for a news event. As several West Coast bloggers have commented, they are treating it like a "show" rather than as news. (Of course, I get pissed off at the 3 hour delay for shows too sometimes.)

This is ridiculous.

It really makes me want to drop a Slingbox in the house of a friend or relative in the Eastern time zone. Very very annoying.

(Yes, I know, they will probably get more viewers this way, but still...)

And for the next 3 hours and change I now have to avoid all my usual news feeds and sites to avoid spioilers. Spoilers for a DEBATE. Urg.


Abulsme - Wed, 16 Apr 2008, 16:42:36 PDT
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Electoral College: McCain up in TX, Obama down in MA



After a string of good news for Obama, time for some good news for McCain. Massachusetts drops from a "Weak Obama" into a "Leaning Obama" state, basically meaning it is up for grabs, thus improving McCain's best case scenario.

Meanwhile, with some additional polls (older polls, but new to me) Texas moves from the leaning category into "Weak McCain". This significantly lowers Obama's "Best Case" prospects.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 343, Obama 195
Obama Best Case - Obama 308, McCain 230

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - Obama 281, McCain 257


Abulsme - Wed, 16 Apr 2008, 09:19:27 PDT
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Tue 15 Apr 2008

Remaining States

One last note on polls for today.

Pollster.com has poll numbers for seven of the remaining ten contents on the Democratic side.

Rounding slightly, from my previous calculations (I didn't redo them today) Clinton needs to pick up about 58% of all remaining delegates (including super delegates) in order to win.

In each of the seven states with polls, I renormalized the numbers to be out of 100% (essentially redistributing "undecided" and "other" evenly between Clinton and Obama) and then looked at the margins.

If we approximate things by saying that the Clinton percentage of popular vote arrived at this way will approximate percentage of delegates... here is how things look as of today using pollster's trendline numbers.

  • Kentucky: Clinton 67%, Obama 33%
  • West Virginia: Clinton 65%, Obama 35%
  • Oregon: Clinton 60%, Obama 40%
  • Puerto Rico: Clinton 57%, Obama 43%
  • Indiana: Clinton 55%, Obama 45%
  • Pennsylvania: Clinton 53%, Obama 47%
  • North Carolina: Obama 60%, Clinton 40%
Now, looking here there are actually 3, maybe 4 states where Clinton is winning by big enough margins to be on pace to win if those votes were held right now. (In reality, the 58% or so she needs will change with the results of each state.) That is pretty strong.

More to the point, Obama is only clearly actually AHEAD in *one* state.

Basically Clinton's path to the nomination is this... screw the current delegate count... win 8 or 9 out of 10 of the remaining votes. In aggregate, through this she will NOT be on the "winning pace". Once all the votes are counted, she will probably need 65% or so of the remaining unpledged superdelegates to vote for her in order to win. Looking the other way, this means Obama only needs 35% of them to take the win. 35% is not a big number, surely Obama would be able to convince 35% of the remaining superdelegates.

But she will argue that she has the momentum, she is on a roll. She has won X number in a row. She will argue that the fact she is still behind is irrelevant. She may be able to find some combinations of counts that show her ahead in the popular vote. (Although there is no real popular vote count, as in many caucus states they only ever counted delegates won, and actual original votes were never counted.) And then she will say that because of this she deserves to win.

In the mean time, she will continue throwing the kitchen sink at Obama, and hoping that he stumbles and falls more. She wants to make him look weak and damaged coming out of this process. Then she continues to argue that because of that he can't win. And that the Democrats have to pick her if they want to stand a chance. That picking Obama would be political suicide.

Will that manage to convince 65% of the remaining superdelegates? Will Obama be able to convince 35% or so to stick with him?

I don't know.

The numbers are clear. She is badly behind. She should not be able to win.

But she does have a path to victory.

And there are ways I could see it play out that would result in her actually getting the nomination in the end.

I still think it is unlikely. But it is not impossible.

But to do it she will end up inflicting massive amounts of damage.

Very depressing.


Abulsme - Tue, 15 Apr 2008, 09:47:16 PDT
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Electoral College: Obama takes the lead when PA flips



What was I saying a few days ago about Obama's streak of no good news on the Electoral college front? We had New Mexico flip on Saturday, and now...

Obama may be hurting in the Democratic primary in PA, but the exposure seems to be improving how he stands in the general election matchup polls against McCain. With the latest polls, PA flips from barely leaning McCain, to barely leaning Obama. But PA is a big state with 21 electoral votes, and PA flipping sides is enough to change the lead in the "if everybody gets their lean states" total. So Obama takes the lead.

In todays updates New Hampshire also strengthens for Obama going from a "Lean Obama" to a "Weak Obama" state.

We're now down to only 11 states and 132 electoral votes in the "lean" category... basically the states that could very easily go either way. Now, that is still a lot, but it is less than it used to be. (And of course, still no polls in DC, but..)

Anyway, the summary numbers change:

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 331, Obama 207
Obama Best Case - Obama 342, McCain 196

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - Obama 281, McCain 257

Still anybody's game though, as those 11 states could easily go either way. Plus I'm sure both candidates (when the time comes) will put resources into trying to pull away some of their opponents bigger "weak" states as well. And of course, there are many months to go, and lots will happen between now and November.

But once the Democrats officially decide on a nominee (I'm betting June, but maybe August) expect a LOT of attention to be poured into those "lean" states.

(Also of course, as I've said before, there is still a small chance Clinton will be the Democratic nominee rather than Obama. This still seems quite unlikely at this time, although it is certainly not impossible. If Clinton ever takes the delegate lead, I'll redo all these charts for Clinton vs McCain... which from what I have seen so far is a very different race. The dynamics are dramatically different in many states.)


Abulsme - Tue, 15 Apr 2008, 08:50:06 PDT
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Yup, Five Percent Didn't Last Long



The pollster.com trend lines in PA are more than 5% apart again based on new polls today which are all post-"bitterflap". One week left to see how it all plays out in the end.


Abulsme - Tue, 15 Apr 2008, 08:15:41 PDT
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Drips and Drabs



This is getting annoying. One superdelegate each for Obama and Clinton.

One week until a real primary where more than just one or two delegates will get allocated.


Abulsme - Tue, 15 Apr 2008, 07:21:04 PDT
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Mon 14 Apr 2008

Under Five Percent in Pennsylvania



For the first time today in Pollster.com's trendline of multiple polls, Clinton's lead in Pennsylvania is under 5%. Of course, there is only one poll so far that includes some data after the blow up about Obama's "bitter" comments. And that one poll shows Clinton with a 20 point lead. But the trend line, at least for now, has dropped to below 5%.

We'll see if it stays that way after more new polls come in. Personally, I wouldn't bet on it.

But I guess we shall see.


Abulsme - Mon, 14 Apr 2008, 09:41:39 PDT
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King County Democratic Convention



My live comments on the event are here and here. I also spoke more at length on the subject on the latest Curmudgeon's Corner.

Also, a post at Slog talking about the event from another perspective. And they have a picture of the polar bear!

And one more note. All of this was about the Platform... a document with no force of law, no binding authority on anybody, not even the party's candidates. In other words, a document that is completely, totally, and utterly irrelevant to absolutely everything.

Unless I decide in 4 years to go to some of the Republican events to compare and contrast, I think this will be my last "party" event. They just demoralize, destress and depress me.

And I am serious when I say the main result of going to something like this was to dramatically lessen the chances of me ever voting for anybody who participated in it.

It was just sad.


Abulsme - Mon, 14 Apr 2008, 09:28:13 PDT
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Curmudgeon's Corner: Every Single Phrase Will Be Parsed

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Obama's Bitterness
  • Republics and Democracies
  • Defense of Elitism
  • The Fallout
  • Fence Sitting Superdelegates
  • King County Democratic Convention
  • Protests Annoy Sam
  • Happy Tax Day
1-Click Subscribe in iTunes

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Abulsme - Mon, 14 Apr 2008, 08:33:39 PDT
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Sun 13 Apr 2008

Cluster

I didn't think it was possible for a process to be more screwed up than last week's caucus.

I was wrong.

Lesson learned: Never let a group of Democrats run ANYTHING.


Abulsme - Sun, 13 Apr 2008, 17:21:28 PDT
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Desired Effect?

I have been sitting at the King County Democratic Convention for a grand total of 10 minutes.

Never in my life has the desire been stronger to vote a straight REPUBLICAN ticket.

Bleh.


Abulsme - Sun, 13 Apr 2008, 14:15:50 PDT
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Sat 12 Apr 2008

Electoral College: New Mexico Flips to Obama



So just yesterday I talked about how there had been no good news for Obama in awhile in terms of these state by state contests. Well, of course as soon as I say such a thing, some good news comes in for Obama. However, it isn't because of new information per se, but because I know know more about the past as it were. Pollster.com added a new New Mexico Chart which included a couple polls that I did not have yet, although they were not the most recent polls. They did however change my "last five polls" average. In this case New Mexico moved from "Leans McCain" all the way to "Weak Obama". This changes several of the summary numbers.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 335, Obama 203
Obama Best Case - Obama 342, McCain 196

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - McCain 278, Obama 260

Still extremely close. Even as we've had states slip out of the "leaning" category to go to one side or another, the range remains pretty well centered on the win line. Nice even unpredictable split.


Abulsme - Sat, 12 Apr 2008, 16:39:02 PDT
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A Little Here, A Little There



Two more superdelegates for Clinton.

Two more superdelegates for Obama.


Abulsme - Sat, 12 Apr 2008, 14:00:19 PDT
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Unforced Error

We've talked a bit on Curmudgeon's Corner about how given the math, Hillary's main path to a victory centers around just waiting around and hoping Obama stumbles and falls. This thing yesterday is exactly the kind of thing that should have both Hillary and McCain jumping up and down with glee.

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest ... they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

-- Barack Obama, 6 Apr 2008
Note the "..." of course. This is a small bit of a much larger statement. And in context what he says makes sense as part of a larger semi-academic analysis of why certain voters tend to prefer to vote on "values issues" even when it appears to go against their direct economic interests. Of course, even with the FULL CONTEXT the statement will rub a lot of people the wrong way, and offend many others. Let alone when you take just the little bit above with no context what so ever. People are already having a field day with it.

And guess which people are the most likely to have issues with this sort of statement? Well, of course those on the right that would never consider Obama anyway, but also those independants or center-right democrats that might consider an Obama, but right now are pretty uncertain about him. Many of those folks may be Hillary voters right now, or if they were not on Thursday, they are now. And guess what, there are a bunch of these kind of voters in some states, like say... Pennsylvania!

You know, I'm starting to get Ron Paul flashbacks here. I mean, I know part of the appeal is being straightforward and saying what you really think without being overly political or pulling punches or doing that say what the audience wants to hear thing... but there is certainly a time to just SHUT THE HELL UP and not say things that will get your opponants all riled up and push the folks on the fence AWAY from you.

Sigh.

Anyway, one good set of comments on this whole hoopla is here:

Obama's "Gaffe:" Some Perspective
(Mark Ambinder, The Atlantic)
There is some truth to this. Even John McCain has expressed a similar sentiment about immigration politics.

But the perilous words for Obama are "bitter," "cling to," "guns" and "religion." Those disinclined to put themselves in Obama's head will read the sentences and see Obama dismissing both religion and American gun culture the opiates of the masses and suggesting that their faith and lifestyle are the product of their bitterness. Voters may believe that one's position on cultural issues is a better reflection of their inner values than one's position on economics.

...

The elite media and most Democrats will say... "yeah.. .So? Obama is simply describing world as we know it." His opponents and people who are inclined to view Obama as an elitist will say, "he is dismissing the culture and religion of working class whites."

...

Despite his working class upbringing, Obama's hyperconfidence sometimes translates as holier-than-thou, elitist, aristocratic, Dukakis-esque. Republicans know that these attributes aren't popular in middle America, so they will use every opportunity to remind independents and moderates about them.
There are tons of comments around on these comments and their potential effects, this is one of the first I saw that seemed to give somewhat of a real analysis rather than just "Gotcha!" posts from the right side of the blogosphere. :-) Of course, I've been doing some other things, so I'm about 23 hours behind in Google Reader right now, so I'm sure a ton more has been said by now. :-)

Oh yeah, to be clear, I don't think this one thing is a campaign killer or anything. It is recoverable. It is just the sort of shooting yourself in the foot that is completely unnecessary. And several of these in a row could be a big problem. But Obama SHOULD be able to recover from this one. But he has been "catching up" in PA, and this may stop that trend.

(Edit on 13 Apr 2008: Corrected the date of the Obama quote from the 11th to the 6th. It happened earlier, just didn't hit the blogosphere until the 11th.)


Abulsme - Sat, 12 Apr 2008, 10:56:33 PDT
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Fri 11 Apr 2008

Electoral College: McCain gains strength in Ohio



Really more an Obama weakening than a McCain strengthening, but regardless the end result is that with the latest updates, Ohio moves from "Leans McCain" to "Weak McCain" as McCain's lead in the state grows to over 5%.

In terms of my summary, this makes Obama's "best case" not quite as good as before, as Obama winning Ohio is no longer in the range of "quite possible" outcomes given current polling.

The last "good news" Obama had in terms of this state by state polling was back on March 26th. Since then everything has been good for McCain.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 340, Obama 198
Obama Best Case - Obama 342, McCain 196

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - McCain 283, Obama 255


Abulsme - Fri, 11 Apr 2008, 07:58:15 PDT
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Thu 10 Apr 2008

Electoral College: Obama loses strength in New York



A new poll in New York drops my average for that state from "Strong Obama" to "Weak Obama". The actual new poll is interesting as it actually shows McCain ahead. In a state that showed a strong Obama lead in previous polls, this is not something Obama will be happy about. The extended primary campaign *is* hurting Obama in the general election contest.

Also interesting is that this poll also gave a seperate question when hypothetical VPs were included. McCain adding Rice as a VP added 1 point to his poll results. Obama adding Clinton as a VP dropped his poll results by 2 points.

Anyway, since NY is still "weak" and hasn't dropped all the way to "lean", it doesn't affect the summary, but I will repeat it anyway.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 340, Obama 198
Obama Best Case - Obama 362, McCain 176

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - McCain 283, Obama 255


Abulsme - Thu, 10 Apr 2008, 09:52:11 PDT
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Tue 08 Apr 2008

Potato(e)

Bring the potato to the fore,
It follows me and bothers me
and brings it to the milk.


Abulsme - Tue, 8 Apr 2008, 08:57:24 PDT
Permalink and Comments [2 comments]

See, They are Fine


Abulsme - Tue, 8 Apr 2008, 08:56:27 PDT
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Curmudgeon's Corner: The Eyebrow Caucus

Sam, Amy and Ivan talk about:

  • The Eyebrow Incident
  • New iPhones Coming?
  • Smartphone Comparison
  • Obama Exposed
  • Obama's Demographic Issues
  • Assassination Fears
  • Legislative District Caucus
  • Enviroweenies
  • Caucus till you Drop
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Abulsme - Tue, 8 Apr 2008, 08:47:13 PDT
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Mon 07 Apr 2008

Late Curmudgeon

Ivan and I recorded our show a few hours later than usual, then I had a few other things to do, so the podcast isn't edited and posted yet. I'll have it out before another 24 hours go by though. Promise.


Abulsme - Mon, 7 Apr 2008, 10:56:54 PDT
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Obama Weakens in Iowa



A new poll drops Obama's Iowa lead in my 5 poll average to under 10%, which moves Iowa from "Strong Obama" to "Weak Obama". In my "range of possible outcomes" that I do, this doesn't make a difference, as I only allow the "Leaning" states (less than 5% lead) to move back and forth, not the "Weak" states (lead between 5% and 10%). But it certainly is a sign that things in Iowa aren't going in a direction Obama would like.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 340, Obama 198
Obama Best Case - Obama 362, McCain 176

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - McCain 283, Obama 255


Abulsme - Mon, 7 Apr 2008, 09:36:01 PDT
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Sun 06 Apr 2008

Thirteen and a Half Hours



It finally ended thirteen and a half hours after it started. I am home now. But I am tired, so I won't post anything more about it here. I expect I may have a few words to say about it in the next episode of Curmudgeon's Corner though. (Which should be out in the next 24 hours or so.)


Abulsme - Sun, 6 Apr 2008, 01:25:10 PDT
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Sat 05 Apr 2008

At the LD Caucus

Well, I am here. Signed in as an Obama delegate to the Washington 41st Legislative District Democratic Caucus. It is hot. It is crowded. There are political signs everywhere. They are about to start.

And yes I stood in the right line to put my name in to run for delegate for the next level. My odds are not good though. Judging from the lines there are a few hundred people running for 49 spots. In theory each person gets to speak one minute to try to convince people to vote for them. One guy is giving out candy with his name on it.

I have no candy.


Abulsme - Sat, 5 Apr 2008, 09:57:38 PDT
Permalink and Comments [1 comments]

Fri 04 Apr 2008

Trickle, Trickle



Three more superdelegates for Obama.


Abulsme - Fri, 4 Apr 2008, 21:19:10 PDT
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Please? Can we? Please?

The original site, linked from MyDD, looks like it is no longer has the bit quoted, but the relevant bit is still here:

History Lesson
(Jerome Armstrong, MyDD)

A historically minded reader has suggested that the Democrats end their fratricidal battle by taking a cue from what the Whigs did in the 1836 election when they couldn't decide between the Northern candidate and the Southern candidate: they ran both. The Democrats could do this, too: put Obama on the ballot in the Western states in which he did well and put Clinton on the ballot in the big Democratic states like Ohio where she won solid victories. Of course, if successful, this strategy would split the electoral votes three ways and nobody would get a majority. Then the newly elected House would choose the President, with each state getting one vote. The Democrats will almost assuredly control the new House. Of course, the battle between Obama and Clinton would then be reignited in the House Democratic caucus so the Democratic members of the House would end up choosing the nominee. But that is going to happen now anyway. However, by doing it that way, the House Democrats would be sure their choice would become President, without having to bother beating a pesky and popular Republican. Of course, the party would need enough discipline to make sure every member of the House voted for the winner of the House caucus vote and normally herding Democrats is like herding cats. The one downside to this strategy is that it didn't work for the Whigs in 1836; Martin van Buren, Andrew Jackson's Vice President, won a majority of the electoral vote outright.
I can't describe just how exciting a scenario like the above would be to watch play out. Of course, the results of 1836 pretty much killed that strategy forever... uh... until now?

Nah, of course not. But it would be fun damn it!


Abulsme - Fri, 4 Apr 2008, 16:17:12 PDT
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Lunch Article

Another good article on the democratic race while I do the lunch thing. Another one outlining the possibilities, and the main path to a win Clinton has remaining.

The Clinton Campaign and the "Popular Vote"
(Bob Ostertag, Huffington Post)

In all of this, just about the only thing that is dead certain is that if this plays out as it is shaping up to, the end game of the Democratic primary is going to be one ugly soap opera. The most likely scenario? Picture Obama winning the nomination from a convention that cannot even decide who has the right to attend, and ends with hundreds of angry Clinton delegates storming the exits and denouncing their party. Unless something changes very soon, I am thinking of spending August on my yearly trip to the Alaskan wilderness where the only folks I can talk to are wild animals who have never heard of American politics.
I can't let myself even hope for so much fun at the convention, I'd only end up dissapointed. :-)


Abulsme - Fri, 4 Apr 2008, 12:07:37 PDT
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Two Articles

Two really long and detailed articles giving good insight into the Democratic race:

The Law of Rules
(Josiah Lee Auspitz, Washington Monthly)

For almost four decades I have been inflicting on friends, family, airplane seatmates, straphangers on the subway and other random acquaintances my stupefying knowledge of party rules. To me this is a subject so enthralling that I cannot understand anyone’s being indifferent to it.

I have written scholarly articles and op-ed pieces, testified, lobbied and litigated, presented maps, tables and charts, consulted, advised and given interviews on the topic. About twenty-five years ago I directed a project analyzing party rules in all the fifty states. My young assistant in this task later foreswore politics and entered a monastic order.

In other words, I am a complete party rules bore. I suppose it would be more dignified to present myself as a political scientist, but I have no illusions.

Still, every two or three quadrennial elections events conspire to give rules minutiae a wider audience. This is one of those rare moments.
(via Kevin Drum, Washington Monthly)

No Really. Hillary Has a Decent Shot
(Sean Oxendine, RealClearPolitics)
It has become something of a pastime among polling geeks like myself to use Jay Cost's primary vote calculator to predict the outcome of the Democratic race. Most who have played with it have come up with some kind of scenario where Hillary leads in the popular vote.

Now, I don't mean to pat myself on the back, but a few days before Jay's calculator came out, I had my own estimate coming to this conclusion. But this calculator provides some more concrete ways of estimating the popular vote. Let's look at this in more detail (especially given all the calls for Hillary to drop out).
(via Instapundit)


Abulsme - Fri, 4 Apr 2008, 08:28:51 PDT
Permalink and Comments [0 comments]

Wed 02 Apr 2008

To Friends Still There...

Good luck!!

Merrill to Cut Up to 10% of Non-Broker Staff
(Charlie Gasparino, CNBC)

Merrill Lynch is now planning to cut 10% to 15% of its workforce--excluding brokers--sometime in May, CNBC has learned.

Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain is expected to complete his review of headcounts at the Wall Street firm by the end of the month.
(via Huffington Post)


Abulsme - Wed, 2 Apr 2008, 14:07:28 PDT
Permalink and Comments [0 comments]

Gap Closing in PA

Looks like the pollster.com trend lines in PA now show Hillary's lead in PA to be less than 10%. 9.9% at the moment. One poll today actually shows Obama ahead, although it is clearly an outlier. As usual, Obama is narrowing Clinton's lead as we get closer.

Now, I still don't expect Obama to win. That would be an amazing stretch from where we are (even though we have almost a whole month yet to go). Although with the lead narrowing like this, you are going to see people start to talk about that. We shall see.

But keep in mind, in terms of the REAL race (as opposed to the spin) Clinton needs to win by better than a 58% to 42% margin (in delegates, not popular vote) in order to make it so that after PA she is closer to winning rather than further away from winning.

The current split on pollster is 50.9% Clinton, 41% Obama, 8.1% Other (Presumably mainly undecided). If we just split the undecideds at the same ratio as Clinton and Obama have among the decided group to "normalize" this, you get: Clinton 55.4%, Obama 44.6%.

Assuming delegate counts will roughly follow popular vote, she has *already* lost the level of lead she needs to be on a pace to catch up with Obama by the convention. With a 55/45 "win" after the delegates are counted, she'll need to get an even HIGHER percentage of the remaining delegates to win. She needs more than 58% of all remaining delegates (including supers) to win. A 55% "win" is really a loss.

Of course, if she wins by even 50.0000001% in the popular vote, even if she loses in delegates, the spin coming out of that night will still be about her "win" and how she has the momentum now, etc...

Don't believe the spin, watch the numbers.


Abulsme - Wed, 2 Apr 2008, 09:13:33 PDT
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One Super Delegate



Obama picks up one superdelegate from Minnesota.


Abulsme - Wed, 2 Apr 2008, 01:29:16 PDT
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Tue 01 Apr 2008

Electoral College: Obama weakens again in Wisconsin



It only moved from leaning Obama to weak Obama a few days ago but now it flips back. A new poll added to the mix, and Obama's lead in Wisconsin weakens again and is now back in the up for grabs leaning category.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case - McCain 340, Obama 198
Obama Best Case - Obama 362, McCain 176

And if everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) - McCain 283, Obama 255


Abulsme - Tue, 1 Apr 2008, 00:30:21 PDT
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