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.



February 2021

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

Republicans: Minor Delegate Shuffling and a New Hampshire Hypothetical

Yesterday’s update was preliminary, and I ended up using the delegate estimates provided by the AP which were used at the New York Times, Washington Post, and other places. My favorite source, Green Papers, had a different set of numbers. When I tried to calculate delegate numbers myself, I came up with yet another set of numbers. I ended up going with the AP numbers.

A little more than a day later and Green Papers updated, now matching what I had calculated myself. So I’m updating the estimates accordingly.

This moves us from:

8 Cruz, 7 Trump, 7 Rubio, 3 Carson, 1 Bush, 1 Paul


7 Cruz, 7 Trump, 6 Rubio, 3 Carson, 1 Bush, 1 Fiorina, 1 Kasich, 1 Paul.

The main change here is one less delegate each to Cruz and Rubio, with those delegates picked up at the bottom end by Fiorina and Kasich.

But wait! There is more! The Washington Post and Politico both add two additional delegates. The 27 allocated by the caucus results were already accounted for, so these would be two of the three “party leaders” who end up as automatic delegates. No indication of which party leader did what, but they add one additional delegate each to Cruz and Rubio.

The new Iowa totals become:

8 Cruz, 7 Rubio, 7 Trump, 3 Carson, 1 Bush, 1 Fiorina, 1 Kasich, 1 Paul.

Between these two changes, the net is simply adding the delegates for Fiorina and Kasich. This means 29 of the 30 Iowa delegates are now accounted for.

Note that even though Paul has “suspended his campaign”, he keeps his delegate unless he explicitly releases it.

The raw delegate count chart now looks like this:


Just a little uptick at the end for Fiorina and Kasich to join Bush and Paul at the 1 delegate mark.

Flipping this over to look at “% of remaining needed to win”:


On this chart, lower is better. When you get down to 0% you win. If you get to 100% you are eliminated. Everybody is still heading upward, not downward, but it is still very early. The whole field here ranges from needing 50.31% of the remaining delegates, to needing 50.59% of the remaining delegates.

Looking specifically at New Hampshire, there are 20 delegates at stake. We are so early, and the % needed numbers so close, that this is easy. The number needed to be on track to win is 11 delegates. Anything less, and the candidate is actually going to be in a harder position in the next contest rather than an easier one.

Let’s game out New Hampshire based on the current RCP averages. Yes, yes, this is based on polling before New Hampshire. Things will change in the next six days. But this is just to model how it works.

The rules via The Green Papers:

  • 20 National Convention delegates are to be bound proportionally to presidential contenders based on the primary vote statewide.
  • A 10% threshold is required in order for a presidential contender to be allocated National Convention delegates.
  • Allocate delegates based on the 20 × candidate’s vote ÷ total statewide vote. Round to the nearest whole number.
  • Any delegate positions that remain open are awarded to the candidate with the highest statewide vote total.

Assume each candidate gets exactly their poll average today. Only the candidates over 10% matter, so with RCP as of right now that is:

33.4% Trump, 12.2% Cruz, 10.8% Rubio, 10.4% Kasich

Converting this to delegates with the rounding rules above, you get:

7 Trump, 2 Cruz, 2 Kasich, 2 Rubio

This is only 13, so there are 7 delegates left. According to the last rule, these all go to the leader, so we end up with:

14 Trump, 2 Cruz, 2 Kasich, 2 Rubio

And therefore Trump would get 70% of the delegates despite only getting 33.7% of the vote. Trump’s line on the “% needed to win” would go down, while everybody else would go up.

After this hypothetical New Hampshire result, the overall race would be:

21 Trump, 10 Cruz, 9 Rubio, 3 Carson, 3 Kasich, 1 Bush, 1 Paul, 1 Fiorina.

Trump would still only have 42.9% of the delegates, which is not a majority, but Cruz would be way back at 20.4% and you’d have Trump starting to pull away from the pack. Still only 1.98% of delegates allocated at that point though, with lots of room for further changes.

The RCP average on February 3rd is NOT going to look like the actual results on Primary night. This is just an example.

The points to take away:

  • The detailed delegate rules matter, you don’t necessarily have to win a popular vote majority to win a delegate majority.
  • We’re still so very early, one contest can have a major effect on the delegate totals, and each state is very different, so don’t put much stock in extrapolating Iowa to future contests.

Of course New Hampshire will be here soon enough, and we’ll do this with the real results.

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: MST3King the Second Republican Debate

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast, Sam and Ivan do it again, laying down a commentary track for the second Republican debate. Yes, the whole thing. All three hours of it. We kibitz as Trump and Carson and Bush and Cruz and Rubio and all the rest argue about the issues of the day. Oh, and of course, Fiorina. Ivan’s nemesis Fiorina. Ivan always has nice things to say about her. You’ve probably seen the debate, now listen to our take!

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

Recorded 2015-09-18

Length this week – 3:13:32

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-1:01:04) Debate Segment I
    • Intro from Sam and Ivan
    • Candidate Self-Introductions
    • Trust Trump with Red Button?
    • Outsiders vs Insiders
    • Russia / Iran / China / Syria
    • Should Kim Davis follow the law?
    • Planned Parenthood and Government Shutdowns
    • Fiorina’s Face
  • (1:02:20-1:42:06) Debate Segment II
    • Immigration
    • Fiorina/Trump Business Records
    • Tax Plans and Budgets
    • Minimum Wage
    • Political Styles
  • (1:43:13-2:16:07) Debate Segment III
    • Trump knowing Foreign Policy
    • Would Jeb be a repeat of 41 and 43 on Foreign Policy?
    • Iraq / Syria / Afghanistan
    • Supreme Court / Abortion
  • (2:16:46-2:42:24) Debate Segment IV
    • Marijuana
    • Guns
    • Social Security
    • Climate Change
    • Vaccines and Autism
  • (2:43:02-3:03:32) Debate Segment V
    • Woman on the $10 bill
    • Secret Service Codenames
    • How will the world be different after your presidency?
  • (3:04:33-3:13:12) Wrap Up
    • Sam and Ivan predict the impact of the debate

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Hit the Green Button!!

Ivan and Sam travel to the same room in the same city to do this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast, joined this week by their college buddy Chad. Along with some stories of college hijinks, the main topics were the aftermath of the first Republican debates, a discussion on Clinton’s weakening position and if it is enough for Biden to jump in, and the continuing impact of Clinton’s email issues. In the lightning round we cover a houseplant that tells you when it is thirsty, the toxic sludge spill, problems with the Olympics, Google Alphabet, and a lot more!

Recorded 2015-08-13

Length this week – 1:27:35

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Show Details:

  • Intro
    • Hidden Pizza
    • Hampshire Fire
  • Election 2016 – Republicans
    • Debate Coverage Feedback
    • Fiorina Debate Performance
    • Post-Debate Polling
    • Narrowing Field
    • Has Trump Peaked?
    • Establishment Tricks
    • Clinton Master Plan?
  • Election 2016 – Democrats
    • Dean Scream
    • Sanders Surge
    • Will Biden run?
    • Clinton Email
  • Lightning Round
    • Movie: Empire Strikes Back
    • China Currency Devaluation
    • Sam’s Houseplant
    • Answering Machine Messages
    • EPA Toxic Sludge Spill
    • Testing Risks
    • Olympics
    • Jon Stewart
    • Jimmy Carter
    • Google Alphabet

Curmudgeon’s Corner: I want to be in the Window!

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about:
* Skype / Wisdom Teeth / Sam Luck
* Trump!!! / Kasich / Fiorina / Rubio in Reach!
* Jeep Hack
* Apple Earnings
* Lightning Round
* * Movie: Star Wars Holiday Special
* * Planned Parenthood video
* * Gawker post and fallout
* * Chattanooga
* * Ashley Madison
* * Iran Deal

Recorded 2015-07-23

Length this week – 1:43:32

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Enough on the Balls

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner with Sam and Iván:
* Election 2016
* Tesla House Battery
* Israeli Coalition
* Lightning Round

Recorded 2015-05-07

Length this week – 1:17:49

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: All Rockets Do

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner with Sam and Iván:
* Sam losing a pet
* Baltimore
* Tech Earnings
* Lightning Round

Recorded 2015-05-01

Length this week – 1:10:41

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: The Lightning Show

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner with Sam and Iván:
* Intro
* Lightning Round 1
* Lightning Round 2
* Lightning Round 3

Recorded 2015-04-24

Length this week – 1:19:02

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