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October 2022

Republicans: Everything falls into place for Trump

Trump did very well yesterday in PA/MD/CT/RI/DE.

In pledged delegates the results were Trump 110, Kasich 5, Cruz 3.

That is a crushing win, but that is not why I say everything is falling into place. Trump did a little better than expected in pledged delegates, but a massive Trump win had been expected for awhile. This was not a surprise, and was already baked into people’s projections for the rest of the race.

Even with this built into the expectations, as of my post last week we were looking at odds between about 40% on the low side and 64% on the high side for Trump actually getting to 1237 delegates and having an outright majority before the convention. A week later, several things change that and make an outright Trump win look far more likely, and a multi-ballot convention much less likely. If it isn’t the pledged delegate results from last night, then what is it?

The first thing is the officially uncommitted delegates from Pennsylvania. In past contests Trump has done a horrible job getting his loyalists into the slots that are nominally uncommitted, or for that matter even into the slots that are bound to him on the first ballot. It was plausible to expect that Trump would do similarly poorly with Pennsylvania’s uncommitted delegates which are elected by name on the ballot… without any indication on the ballot of who they support.

But Trump appears to have gotten his act together, making sure delegate slates were available to Trump supporters and such. Between delegates that explicitly said they support Trump, and those who said they would vote the way their district went (and all of them went for Trump), Trump ends up with 45 of the 54 uncommitted delegates by my estimates. There is some ambiguity in the statements made by some of these uncommitted delegates and some other folks have estimated the number of Trump votes slightly lower. But all the estimates have Trump winning most of these delegates.

This was unexpected, and also gives more confidence of Trump’s delegate wrangling abilities going forward. (Although Pennsylvania was the biggest pot of uncommitted delegates.)

Add in the uncommitted delegates that have expressed a preference (45 Trump, 3 Cruz, 3 Kasich, 3 TBD) and 2 additional uncommitted Cruz delegates from North Dakota that I logged in the last week, and the net change since New York ends up as:

Trump +155, Cruz +8, Kasich +8.

The new raw totals look like this:


The finish line is in sight. Trump only needs 233 delegates to win this thing directly. No multi-ballot convention, just a straight up win on the first ballot.


For the first time since Super Tuesday at the beginning of March, Trump also actually has a majority of the delegates so far… 52.32% of the delegates.

But what does it take to keep that? Time for the “% of remaining delegates needed” graph:


First note that with yesterday’s results Cruz has been mathematically eliminated from the possibility of a first ballot victory. Trump is now the ONLY candidate that can win on a first ballot. Everybody else is done unless there is a brokered convention… or I suppose unless Trump drops out or something crazy like that.

Looking directly at Trump’s line… Trump needed 53.52% of the delegates to improve his position. Since New York he actually got 90.64% of the delegates. This obviously means his position improved a lot. He now only needs 42.06% of the remaining delegates to win.

That means he could do 20% worse at delegate gathering in all the remaining contests than he has so far and still win.

If the Republicans allocated delegates proportionately everywhere like the Democrats do, this would clearly be over. It would be Trump’s nomination, and we’d be done.

Because of how so many Republican states tilt the delegate results to the winner though, if the anti-Trump’s were strong, there would still be a path to block Trump.

The anti-Trump scenarios that gave us odds of a multi-ballot convention relied on three things.

The first we mentioned above… Trump’s failure to win delegates when they were selected individually instead of being bound to primary results. Trump dispensed with that in Pennsylvania.

The second was Indiana. Until the last week, Indiana had not been polled. The anti-Trump contested convention scenarios all relied on Trump losing Indiana. Well, last week Indiana was finally polled. Three times. The results? The RCP average has Trump +6.3%. Given Indiana’s delegate rules, a win like that would get Trump most of Indiana’s 57 delegates… possibly all of them. Oops. And Trump now only needs to be getting 42% of the delegates to be on pace to win.

The third was California. Trump has been ahead in the polls in California forever. But the anti-Trump folks were hoping to keep him from winning by too much and to hold down his delegate total. But in the last week of polling, Cruz has been falling and Trump has been rising, so Trump’s margins have just been growing. RCP now has a 17.4% Trump lead in their California average. Assuming Trump wins Indiana and some of the other remaining states, Trump will very likely only need 30% or less of the delegates in California in order to wrap things up. If he is winning by almost 20%, that is going to be very easy to achieve.

The simulator at The Upshot using default assumptions now shows an almost certain Trump win.

The FiveThirtyEight simulator “follow the experts” model shows Trump 27 votes short of the magic number… but they don’t include ANY of the officially uncommitted delegates that have said they support Trump. Add those in… there are just under 50 of them now depending how you count… and you are easily over 1237.

Finally, Sam Wang’s numerical simulations of the rest of the race have moved from a 64% chance of a Trump win a little over a week ago to a 94% chance today.

I see no reason to disagree with this estimate.

We are no longer on a knife’s edge between a contested convention and an outright Trump win.

#NeverTrump is now hanging on by a thread. They maybe aren’t quite as far gone as Sanders is on the Democratic side, but it is getting close. Their last hope is to try to start turning things around with a surprise win in Indiana. Even with that though, Trump’s odds look very good.

Between yesterday’s results, polls in Indiana, and polls in California, this now looks like an almost certain outright Trump win.

This is now Trump’s to lose. Given everything he has done so far that pundits thought would sink him but in fact only strengthened him, it is hard to see how exactly that would happen.

So… time to start paying more attention to Clinton vs Trump. Right now that looks like Clinton 338 to Trump 200, a 138 electoral vote win for Clinton. But things are still early, and that will change…

Update 2016-05-02 17:52 UTC: Uncommitted delegate update plus adjustment in Rhode Island. Net change: Trump +1, Cruz -2.

Update 2016-05-03 03:53 UTC: Uncommitted delegate update checking multiple sources. Net change: Cruz +2, Kasich -2, Trump -4. (See my wiki for my current best estimates of uncommitted delegate preferences.)

Update 2016-05-04 08:11 UTC: Updates (including uncommitted) in Nevada, Wyoming and North Dakota. Net change: Cruz +6, Carson -2.

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.

Democrats: Clinton wins PA/MD/CT/RI/DE by 218 to 166

Even the Sanders folks are starting… just starting… to admit it might be over.

Clinton won 218 delegates yesterday. Sanders won 166.

In addition, since New York there were new superdelegate endorsements and updates in Illinois and Ohio which have netted Clinton +9, Sanders +1.

So including everything since New York, we have Clinton +227, Sanders +167.

That means Clinton got 57.61% of the delegates. She only needed 28.73%.

Meanwhile Sanders got 42.39% of the delegates. He needed 71.39%.

In practical terms this has been for over a long time. Absent a huge unexpected event of course.

But we still watch it play out.

Here are the relevant graphs:



Clinton now only needs 231 of the remaining 1200 delegates to win. That’s 19.25% of the remaining delegates.

Sanders on the other hand needs 971 of the 1200. That is 80.92%.

Guess which is most likely?

Or, of course, still, tons of Clinton superdelegates could defect and change this a bit. I wouldn’t hold my breath for that though.

Update 2016-05-01 17:08 UTC: Superdelegate updates plus change to Ohio pledged delegates. Net change: Clinton +11, Sanders -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.

Electoral College: 01:15 – Lots of states, All expected

Romney Obama
Romney Best Case 310 228
Current Status 206 332
Obama Best Case 190 348

There were no states called between 00:45 UTC and 01:00 UTC so there was no 01:00 update.

But there were tons of states called between 01:00 and 01:15 though.

  • Obama: CT, DE, DC, IL, MD, MA, ME-All, ME-1, RI
  • Romney: OK, GA

I also corrected the light blue line in the chart, which I’d neglected to decrement when Romney won South Carolina. That line represents the states where Romney was ahead by more than 5%, but less than 10%.

The three scenarios remain the same though, as no close states have been called. In 2008, since McCain’s best case was still to lose, I also tracked a “McCain SuperBest” case on election night, the case where he would have won all the states he was behind by less than 10% in. That was to keep it interesting in a race that wasn’t close. No need for that this time.

This time we wait for the states that are actually close.

2012 Republican Delegate Count: Unsuper Tuesday – Paul and Gingrich Eliminated

Charts from the 2012 Republican Delegate Count Graphs page. When a candidate gets down to 0%, they have clinched the nomination. If they get above 100%, they have been mathematically eliminated. The first chart is by date, the second is by “% of Delegates Already Allocated”. These numbers include estimates of the eventual results of multi-stage caucus processes which will be refined as the later stages occur.

First big primary day in awhile, and of course Romney dominates.

  • New York: Romney gets all 92 delegates from today. Total in NY now Romney 94, Gingrich 1
  • Pennsylvania: This is the only tricky one of the day. Delegates were elected by name, not by presidential preference. So they are all officially uncommitted, but in general these delegates do support someone, it just takes more work to figure out who. Green Papers’ initial estimate from the primary is Romney +11, Paul +5, Gingrich +4, Santorum +3, and 39 uncommitted or unknown. That is obviously a lot of uncommitted/unknown, so there will probably be future updates as the preferences of those delegates become known. Also 10 at-large delegates won’t be chosen until June and two superdelegates have yet to publicly express a preference. The total in PA is now Romney 12, Paul 5, Gingrich 4, Santorum 3, TBD 48. (GP has Romney 11, TBD 49, but I think they forgot the one Romney superdelegate.)
  • Connecticut: Romney wins all 25 delegates from the primary. New CT total: Romney 26, TBD 2
  • Rhode Island: Romney gets 12 delegates from the primary, Paul gets 4. New RI Total: Romney 15, Paul 4
  • Delaware: Romney gets all 17 delegates from the primary. No delegates had been allocated previously and none are left, so total is just Romney 17

So, for the day… Romney +157, Paul +9, Gingrich +4, Santorum +3. Romney gets 90.8% of the delegates today. Way more than the 40.2% he needed to stay on track to get to 1144.

And with this, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are both mathematically eliminated. More specifically, if they were now to get 100% of the remaining delegates they would still not get to 1144. In order to get to 1144, they would actually need to take delegates away from the other candidates, either through final results in caucus states being better for them than earlier estimates, or through actual defections. Both are possible. However, neither will happen in large enough numbers to change anything, absent something catastrophic that causes Romney to actually drop out. Uh, which is highly unlikely.

For the remaining two candidates, in terms of “% of remaining delegates needed to win”:

  • Romney: 40.2% -> 30.9%
  • Santorum: 80.1% -> 94.5%

So, theoretically Santorum could still catch up and win by getting 95% of the remaining delegates. Needless to say that won’t happen. His already long odds were made worse by suspending his campaign.

Meanwhile, neither Gingrich or Paul have suspended their campaigns. There are indications Gingrich might do so soon despite previous vows to stay in until Tampa. Paul has shown no signs of stopping.

The 31% of the remaining delegates Romney needs to wrap this up should be very easy for him to get. But we still have to wait for the calendar. So the march goes on…

Update 2012 Apr 27 12:34 UTC:

I was incorrect about the Pennsylvania count above and had misread Green Paper’s statement. In fact the new total in Pennsylvania was indeed Romney 11, not Romney 12. There were 10 new Romey delegates added to the count, not 11. They did not forget the one superdelegate. I just got twisted around thinking the 11 was a delta from the election instead of a new total, which would have left one delegate out. But it was indeed the new new total.

This makes the total for this day Romney +156, Paul +9, Gingrich +4, Santorum +3.

That gives Romney 90.7% of the delegates for the day instead of 90.8%.

This also changes Romney’s “% needed to win” to 31.0% instead of 30.9%. Santorum’s becomes 94.4% instead of 94.5%.

These changes are too small to be visible on the graph above, but will be reflected on future updates.