This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.



January 2020
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Curmudgeon’s Corner: The Dream is Over

This week on the Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast Sam and Ivan spend most of the show on Election 2016. On the Republican side they discuss how recent results and the polls of upcoming states seem to be closing the door on the possibility of a contested convention and pointing to a straight up Trump nomination, as well as discussing Cruz/Fiorina, and what might make Trump worse than Cruz. On the Democratic side the discussion is on how Sanders seems to be finally admitting defeat, and on the veepstakes! Finally, they wrap it up with a lightning round covering all sorts of other issues they haven’t gotten around to lately.

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

Recorded 2016-04-28

Length this week – 1:40:24

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:05:41) But First
    • Agenda
    • Noisy Ivan
    • The Beep is Back
  • (0:06:25-0:59:59) Election 2016: Republicans
    • PA/MD/CT/RI/DE Results
    • PA Uncommitted Delegates
    • Where Trump is in the Delegate Race now
    • Indiana Polls
    • California Polls
    • Projections for the rest of the race
    • Bye Bye Contested Convention Scenarios
    • Cruz/Kasich Deal
    • Cruz/Fiorina 2016!
    • Presidential Trump
    • Trump Foreign Policy?
    • Trump vs Cruz, who is worse?
  • (1:01:07-1:10:29) Election 2016: Democrats
    • Bernie admitting he is done?
    • Veepstakes
    • Median Voter vs Base
  • (1:11:08-1:40:04) Lightning Round
    • Bathroom Laws
    • Germany/Turkey free speech issue
    • Matthew Keys Case
    • The Chalkening
    • Tubman $20
    • Movie: The Gentle Leader Way
    • Brexit
    • Prince
    • Brazil
    • Apple Earnings
    • Saudi No Oil Plan
    • Car vs Helicopter

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Weird Things Happening

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about Election 2016 of course. But first some bits about Mike the headless chicken, the comments on Sam’s Election Graphs site, stamp prices, Hey Siri, and a movie Sam watched. When they do get to the election they cover Trump’s shutout in Colorado, Trump’s general malpractice in delegate wrangling, the odds of a contested convention, the accusations of cheating in both parties, and much more!

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

Recorded 2016-04-14

Length this week – 1:20:15

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:41-0:22:29) But First
    • Ivan in his Car
    • Mike the Headless Chicken
    • Election Graphs Comments
    • Stamp Prices
    • Facebook Bots
    • Hey Siri
    • Movie: Mississippi Burning (1988)
  • (0:23:08-1:00:14) Election 2016
    • Trump shutout in Colorado
    • Delegate wrangling malpractice
    • Contested Convention Scenarios
    • Ryan saying no… Again
    • Odds of Trump getting majority
    • Trump Trends
    • Cruz wooing delegates
  • (1:00:53-1:19:55) Election 2016 Continued
    • Cheating? Stealing? Unfair? Rigged?
    • Sanders “contesting” the convention
    • Sanders attempts to woo superdelegates
    • Edit wars on Wikipedia Superdelegate list
    • Denial from Trump and Sanders people
    • What Sanders and Trump didn’t do
    • When is New York again?
    • Thoughtful Trump people wanted

Republicans: Trump’s losing streak continues. Is a contested convention inevitable?

Colorado is odd in that it dribbled out delegates over a couple of weeks. The 6 from the 1st and 6th congressional districts were already included when the Michigan results came out. Those 6 were all Cruz. Since then I added notes about the rest of Colorado’s congressional districts to the Michigan post. Cruz won all 15 of those delegates. Then yesterday Cruz won all 13 at large delegates.

There are 3 more delegates from Colorado who are state party leaders and have not yet expressed a preference.

But Cruz has won all 34 of Colorado’s delegates that were available via the caucus process.

Since March 23rd, Trump has gotten bad news in Alaska, American Samoa, Louisiana, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Colorado. Some of those were “new” results in states, others were just updates as more information came in. Either way, none of those updates went Trump’s way.

Lets look at the chart:


After Arizona and Utah Trump needed 52.22% of the remaining delegates to be on a winning pace.

Since then the delegate deltas have been Cruz +78, Trump +6, Rubio +4, Kasich +1. And that Kasich delegate is being generous interpreting one uncommitted delegate’s comments. That might actually be a Cruz delegate in the end.

So Cruz got 78/89 = 87.6% of the delegates.

Trump got 6/89 = 6.7% of the delegates.

Needless to say this is far below the 52.22% Trump needed to improve his position.

Instead, he goes from needing 52.22% of the remaining delegates to needing 57.07%. This is huge change.

Winning 57.07% of the delegates would represent a 23% improvement over the 46.46% of delegates pace he has so far. That is a pretty substantial improvement.

Trump is in the worst position he has been so far. This is not where he wants to be. Everything is going in the wrong direction.

But is it time to assume a contested convention yet? The drum beat about that has certainly begun.

I could do my usual of calculating an estimate for New York from current polling, and then look where that puts us, but other folks have done more in depth projections. I’ll specifically point out two:

Both of these two outline scenarios where Trump can still get to 1237. These are not highly unlikely scenarios like those required to get to a Sanders win on the Democratic side, but rather perfectly reasonable possibilities given current polling data. Trusting current polls completely, Wang actually gets a 92% chance of Trump getting the delegate majority. When he adjusts for the fact Cruz has been over performing his polls, that drops to 70%. This is by no means certain, but it is still more likely than not.

In addition you can run your own simulations at The Upshot or FiveThirtyEight. With either of these it is not that hard to get Trump to 1237. Try it yourself. It is fun.

My own take is that some of Wang’s assumptions about how uncommitted delegates will break is a bit generous to Trump given his performance so far with uncommitted and unbound delegates. So 70% chance of an outright majority seems a bit high.

In the last Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast I said my gut feel was that we have a 60% chance of a multiple-ballot convention at this point. Which would mean a 40% chance that Trump wins outright. (I allowed for some additional chance of convention shenanigans like trying to change the rules to unbind delegates on the first ballot, or that the results of there 1st ballot would be unclear until the actual vote due to uncommitted delegates.)

Trump was EXPECTED to do badly in Colorado and Michigan… perhaps not quite this badly, but still it means that it is easy to get distracted by notions of “momentum” that may or may not be real. The fact that Trump did well in Arizona, but then badly in Colorado does not represent a change in the state of the race. It is just a function of the makeup of those states and the calendar. To see if things have really changed from being “right on the edge between a Trump win and a contested convention” we need to see deviations against how the remaining states are expected to play out.

We haven’t seen that quite yet.

But all the anti-Trump forces are pushing against him hard and Trump has no margin for error in the remaining states. He has to do well in all the places he is expected to do well. He might actually need to exceed expectations by a bit. If he starts dipping, even a little bit, then we are at a contested convention. And given what appears to be Cruz’s skill at collecting “ghost delegates” who are bound to Trump on the first ballot but who really support Cruz, a Trump loss on the first ballot almost certainly means Cruz (or maybe someone else, but probably Cruz) wins on a later ballot.

Keep watching New York and if Trump stays over 50% in the popular vote, which will get him all or almost all of the delegates. That is the next big test. If Trump underperforms expectations in New York, we almost certainly will have a multi-ballot convention. If he matches or exceeds expectations, then the path to an outright Trump win remains open.

[Update 2016-04-13 15:19 UTC: Update from North Carolina. Net Change: Carson +1, Trump -1.]

Note: This post is an update based on the data on Election Graphs tracks both a poll based estimate of the Electoral College and a numbers based look at the Delegate Races. All of the charts and graphs seen in this post are from that site. Additional graphs, charts and raw data can be found there. All charts above are clickable to go to the current version of the detail page the chart is from, which may contain more up to date information than the snapshots on this page, which were current as of the time of this post. Follow @ElectionGraphs on Twitter or like Election Graphs on Facebook to see announcements of updates or to join the conversation. For those interested in individual general election poll updates, follow @ElecCollPolls on Twitter for all the polls as they are added.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: We Like Buttons

On Curmudgeon’s Corner this week Sam and Ivan talk about the iPhone SE, the Panama Papers, and Tesla Model 3 before diving into Election 2016. On the election they of course cover the Wisconsin results, the outlook for the next states, the bleak view for Sanders, and of course the possibilities of a contested convention on the Republican side. With a few other random things thrown in for good measure.

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

Recorded 2016-04-06

Length this week – 1:33:50

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:44-0:03:30) But First
    • Agenda
    • iPhone SE
  • (0:04:09-0:07:36) But Second
    • More iPhone SE
  • (0:08:16-0:24:00) Panama Papers
    • What and Who
    • Why not US people?
    • Putin’s Circle
    • Shocking?
    • Legal Implications
  • (0:25:05-0:43:25) Tesla Model 3
    • Lines / Preorders
    • Pros and Cons of the Car
    • Implications for Industry
    • VIP Email Notifications
  • (0:44:46 -1:33:38) Election 2016
    • Ivan’s Song
    • Wisconsin Results
    • Demographic Models vs Polls
    • Next States
    • Trump’s Delegate Game
    • Brokered Convention Scenarios
    • Rules changes for 2020?
    • Trump weakening in General
    • This week’s Trump craziness
    • Clinton vs Sanders
    • Trump Statement

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Walk 5000 Steps

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan hit all the things you would expect about Election 2016, the attacks in Brussels and the announcements at the latest Apple event. They also talk a bit about fitness, #ManInTree, Waze, Obama in Cuba and more! Even a bit about events in the Nixon administration!

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

Recorded 2016-03-24

Length this week – 1:51:13

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:00-0:02:52) Alex Prelude
  • (0:03:05-0:14:21) But First
    • Health
    • Fitness
    • Man In Tree
  • (0:15:01-0:56:58) Election 2016
    • Delegate Math
    • Types of Contested Conventions
    • Upcoming States
    • California
    • Virgin Islands
    • Delegate Selection Processes
    • Trump’s Lost Illinois Delegates
    • Clinton vs Trump
  • (0:58:02-1:06:19) Brussels
    • Belgian Citizens
    • Radicalization
    • History of Terrorism
    • Responses
  • (1:07:36-1:19:56) Brussels Part II
    • Overreactions
    • Suicide Bombings
    • IS Strategy
    • Cruz and Trump on Brussels
    • When it happens in the US
  • (1:20:35-1:33:43) Apple Stuff
    • No surprises
    • Android codenames
    • OS X codenames
    • FBI vs Apple update
  • (1:34:22-1:50:53) Lightning Round
    • TV Series: Minority Report (2015)
    • Obama in Cuba
    • Obama in Argentina
    • Nixon Administration on Drug War
    • Rob Ford

Curmudgeon’s Corner: One Thousand Likes

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about Sam’s son’s trip to the doctor, they respond to a bunch of listener feedback, talk a bit about Apple and Nancy Reagan, and then finally jump into Election 2016. Within that topic they cover the charges of Trump inciting violence, the delegate math, what might happen at a contested convention, explanations for the Sanders win in Michigan… and more!

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

Recorded 2016-03-12

Length this week – 1:38:06

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:16:37) But First
    • Delayed Show
    • Agenda
    • Alex Doctor Visit
    • Alex Test Results
  • (0:17:25-0:43:53) Feedback!
    • Feedback Format
    • Jenn on which nomination process Sam should do
    • Bruce on which nomination process Sam should do
    • Richard on a show format suggestion
    • Jon on Gary Johnson
    • Matt on Kanye
    • Edward on Trump
  • (0:44:32-0:57:47) Mini Lightning Round
    • Alex’s iPad
    • Alex’s YouTube Channel
    • Upcoming Apple Event
    • Snowden on Apple vs FBI
    • Nancy Reagan
  • (0:58:28- 1:36:24) Election 2016
    • Trump inciting violence?
    • Trump salutes?
    • Delegate Math
    • Contested Convention
    • Sanders Michigan Win
    • Ivan’s Vote