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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Anyone who raises their hand!

On the Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast this week, most of the show is of course about the presidential election. Ivan and Sam discuss everything you would expect about Clinton, Trump, Sanders and Cruz. And Sam ran a caucus! But in addition, there is plenty of other good stuff about hard drives, Microsoft Tay, being sick, the 5th amendment, and more!

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

CCCover20151125bw
Recorded 2016-03-31

Length this week – 1:51:50

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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:11:09) But First
    • Agenda
    • Sick People
    • Airplane WiFi
    • Work without Internet?
  • (0:11:45-0:34:25) Lightning Round
    • Microsoft Tay
    • Pakistan Bombing / Egyptian Hijacking
    • Obama Approval Ratings
    • Apple vs FBI
    • Phones not protected by 5th Amendment?
  • (0:35:28-0:56:10) Election 2016 – Democrats
    • Washington, Hawaii and Alaska
    • The Sanders Path
    • Sam Caucuses
    • Information Bubbles
  • (0:56:56-1:08:18) Hard Drive Bonus Segment
    • Ivan’s Problem
    • SSD vs  Spinning Platter
    • Wirecutter
    • Alex Interlude
    • Separating Media
    • Backups
  • (1:09:38-1:51:30) Election 2016 – Republicans
    • Wisconsin Delegate Allocation
    • Upcoming States
    • Trump Insanity
    • Third Parties and the Pledge
    • Vice Presidential Selection
    • The Trump Insider
    • Trump Presidential Style
    • Rubio keeping delegates
    • Autocorrect

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Cheese in the Microphone

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan start with a rant about Daylight Saving Time, then they talk about third parties, Brazil, Syria, Seaworld and the Supreme Court before diving into Election 2016 and all the craziness there. Oh, and Sam’s 6 year old son Alex keeps interrupting this week, so there is that fun too!

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

CCCover20151125bw
Recorded 2016-03-18

Length this week – 1:46:20

 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
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Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:07:54) But first
    • Agenda
    • Saving Time
    • Fire?
  •  (0:08:59-0:28:25) But second
    • New Snack? / Broken hand?
    • Why alone?
    • Feedback / Third Parties
    • ALeXMXeLA.com
  • (0:29:04-0:46:01) Mini Lightning Round
    • Cutting the cheese
    • Brazil Scandal
    • Russians withdraw from Syria
    • Seaworld Orcas
  • (0:47:05-0:59:32) SCOTUS
    • Certifiable Moderate
    • Wall Breaking Down Already
    • No hearings, unless Hillary
    • Troll moves, crying
  • (1:00:47-1:46:00) Election 2016
    • Cheese in the Microphone
    • March 15th results
    • Uncommitted Delegates
    • Rubio’s Delegates
    • Delegate Corruption
    • Trump encouraging riots?
    • Convention Shenanigans
    • Alex Clearing the shelves
    • Carson and Christie
    • Clinton still winning
    • Obama vs Trump

Republicans: A look back at Saturday, forward at Tuesday, and back again at Romney and McCain

Saturday brought Republican results for DC, Guam and Wyoming. The number of delegates coming out of this was small, turnout was tiny, and there had been no polling. But the results were surprisingly bad for Trump. Between these three we ended up with:

Rubio +11, Cruz +10, Kasich +9, Trump +1

This by the way is much worse for Trump than the model in my last post predicted, since it used national polls in the absence of actual polls for these three places.

There were also 9 “uncommitted” delegates selected yesterday. These people essentially become like the Democratic superdelegates, in that they are free agents at the convention. If I find out their preferences, I’ll assign them to the candidate they support, but for now they remain TBD. With all the contests so far there are actually 22 of these now. It will be interesting to see if they make a difference.

In any case, with only 1 of 30 delegates from Saturday, or 3.33%, Trump fell very far short of the 54.39% of the delegates he needed to be on the path to an outright win instead of a contested convention.

chart-76

Trump now needs 55.49% of the remaining delegates to win outright. This number is getting high. And the gap between what Trump has done so far (42.96% of delegates) is getting larger. Nobody else got what they needed either of course, so everybody’s numbers got worse, not just Trump’s.

Of course, we still have some big winner take all and winner take most states coming up, so time to refresh the poll based predictions for Tuesday and see what they look like now. As usual, using RCP poll averages and delegate distribution rules from Green Papers.

Florida – 99 delegates – March 15th:

  • Poll averages: Trump 41.4%, Rubio 23.3%, Cruz 19.7%, Kasich 9.6%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 99

North Carolina – 72 delegates – March 15th:

  • Poll averages: Trump 35.6%, Cruz 23.8%, Rubio 13.0%, Kasich 10.4%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 31, Cruz 21, Rubio 11, Kasich 9

Illinois – 69 delegates – March 15th:

  • Poll averages: Trump 34.3%, Cruz 25.3%, Kasich 18.3%, Rubio 14.8%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 35, Cruz 15, Kasich 11, Rubio 8

Ohio – 66 delegates – March 15th:

  • Poll averages: Kasich 35.3%, Trump 33.3%, Cruz 20.0%, Rubio 5.8%
  • Delegate estimate: Kasich 66

Missouri – 52 delegates – March 15th:

  • Using only recent poll: Trump 36.0%, Cruz 29.0%, Rubio 9.0%, Kasich 8.0%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 52

Northern Marianas – 9 delegates – March 15th:

  • No polls, using national avg: Trump 36.0%, Cruz 21.8%, Rubio 18.0%, Kasich 12.0%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 9

The main difference from the estimate a few days ago is that now Kasich is ahead in Ohio, and wins the 66 delegates there. This makes a big difference.

Adding these up:

Trump +226, Kasich +86, Cruz +36, Rubio +19

Trump would get 61.6% of the delegates on Tuesday. Which even without Ohio would be above the 55.49% he needs to be tracking toward a clean win.

The new totals would be:

Trump 690, Cruz 408, Rubio 185, Kasich 149, Others 15

Trump would have 47.7% of the delegates. Still not a majority.

When you do all the math at the end of all that, Trump would need 53.37% of the remaining delegates to cleanly win a majority of the delegates. That would still be a substantial improvement from what he had been doing so far.

But there would be more winner take all states coming up. And Cruz, Rubio and Kasich would be so far behind that the scenarios where they would catch up would be extremely far fetched. None of them can win outright. At best they can block Trump. Do all three of them stay in? Do their donors continue to support them in a bid where the only real goal is a contested convention? Can they really keep blocking him from getting a majority of the delegates through a long slog from now until June 7th?

The “Trump wins Florida, but loses Ohio” scenario is the one where it would be premature to say either “Trump will win this outright”, or “Contested Convention”. Instead, we’ll still be hovering between those possibilities, waiting for more states to weigh in.

This might go on awhile.

Finally, as I did with the Democrats earlier, a quick look back, comparing Trump today with Romney in 2012 and McCain in 2008.

First, just looking at the percent of delegates they had as the race progressed:

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 21.47.49043

You can see that Trump is behind where either McCain or Romney were at about the same point in the race. But as I’ve said many times, percentages of delegates so far is the wrong way to look at things. Instead, you want to look at the % of the remaining delegates that are needed:

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 21.49.32027

You can see that at this point in the race, both Romney and McCain needed less than 50% of the remaining delegates to win. Trump is way behind that pace. But it was also not until right around now in the races that McCain and Romney really started to pull away. Trump has a harder road here, but with a handful of big winner take all states it is not too late for him to start a downward dive to a flat out win.

But if his line doesn’t manage a full on turn downward, eventually it will curve up, and we’ll end up at the contested convention.

Ohio is close. We will have to wait until Tuesday to see how this thing is going…

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. 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.

[Edit 22:17 UTC to add sentence about other candidate’s numbers getting worse, not just Trump’s.]

[Edit 22:32 UTC to add link to the post on the Democrats.]

Republicans: After March 8th, still in contested convention zone, but Trump in good position to change that

On the Republican side March 9th brought results from Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan and Mississippi. The results were:

Trump +73, Cruz +59, Kasich +17, Rubio +1

The projections I made a few days ago based on polling were:

Projected total for March 8th: Trump +91, Cruz +28, Rubio +18, Kasich +12, Carson +1

Despite his wins, Trump considerably underperformed what his polling indicated just a couple days beforehand, while Cruz beat his estimates by quite a bit. Rubio, well, Rubio just flamed out.

Now, this is still a Trump win, but the fact that it was less than the polls would have predicted may mean that there is weakness in Trump that is not being captured by the latest polls.

Also, it was not enough to put him on track to get back out of the “contested zone” where we are on track for a contested convention, and back to a place where he actually has a majority of the delegates.

Lets look at the “% of remaining delegates needed to win” graph:

chart (100)

Before today, Trump needed 53.85% of the delegates to be on track for an outright win. For the night he got 48.67% of the delegates. Not quite there. So his % needed for the next contests increases to 54.39%.

This is getting high given that his history to date is only getting 44.14% of the delegates. He needs to improve his rate of delegate acquisition by about 23% to head toward an outright win.

If the remaining states were all straight proportional, it might already be time to start saying the likelyhood of the contested convention was getting to the point that anything else would be a surprise.

But the Republican contests are almost all biased at least a little bit to the winner, and starting March 15th, we have a number of high delegate winner take all states, most notably Florida and Ohio.

As I’ve been doing, lets look at the next few contests. This time lets go all the way through the big March 15th day. As usual, using RCP poll averages and delegate distribution rules from Green Papers.

Florida – 99 delegates – March 15th:

  • Poll averages: Trump 40.2%, Rubio 24.4%, Cruz 17.4%, Kasich 8.4%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 99

North Carolina – 72 delegates – March 15th:

  • Poll averages: Trump 32.7%, Cruz 21.7%, Rubio 15.3%, Kasich 9.7%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 30, Cruz 20, Rubio 14, Kasich 8

Illinois – 69 delegates – March 15th:

  • Poll averages: Trump 32.7%, Rubio 18.7%, Cruz 17.7%, Kasich 13.3%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 37, Rubio 12, Cruz 11, Kasich 9

Ohio – 66 delegates – March 15th:

  • Poll averages: Trump 39.0%, Kasich 34.0%, Cruz 15.3%, Rubio 7.0%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 66

Missouri – 52 delegates – March 15th:

  • No recent polls, using national avg: Trump 36.0%, Cruz 21.8%, Rubio 18.0%, Kasich 12.0%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 52

Wyoming – 29 delegates – March 12th:

  • No recent polls, using national avg: Trump 36.0%, Cruz 21.8%, Rubio 18.0%, Kasich 12.0%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 12, Cruz 7, Rubio 6, Kasich 4

District of Columbia – 19 delegates – March 12th:

  • No recent polls, using national avg: Trump 36.0%, Cruz 21.8%, Rubio 18.0%, Kasich 12.0%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 9, Cruz 5, Rubio 5

Virgin Islands – 9 delegates – March 10th:

  • No recent polls, using national avg: Trump 36.0%, Cruz 21.8%, Rubio 18.0%, Kasich 12.0%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 4, Cruz 2, Rubio 2, Kasich 1

Guam – 9 delegates – March 12th:

  • No recent polls, using national avg: Trump 36.0%, Cruz 21.8%, Rubio 18.0%, Kasich 12.0%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 4, Cruz 2, Rubio 2, Kasich 1

Northern Marianas – 9 delegates – March 15th:

  • No recent polls, using national avg: Trump 36.0%, Cruz 21.8%, Rubio 18.0%, Kasich 12.0%
  • Delegate estimate: Trump 9

Now, lots of assumptions there. Also, Wyoming and some of the territories are actually directly electing delegates and we may not know their preferences on election night, so they may be listed as unbound or TBD for awhile. But lets do the addition anyway. From the above we end up with:

March 10th to March 15th estimate: Trump 322, Cruz 47, Rubio 41, Kasich 23

That would give Trump a whopping 74.36% of the delegates, well above the 54.39% he needs.

Now, because that includes some big winner take all, and some more that are winner-take-most, that is highly volatile. If he loses Florida… or Ohio, where the race is a lot closer… then things start to look worse for Trump very quickly.  In terms of winning outright… not necessarily in terms of keeping the delegate lead.

But given the results above, does Trump get back to a delegate majority?

The new totals would be:

Trump 785, Cruz 409, Rubio 196, Kasich 77, Others 15

Trump would have 52.97% of the delegates. He would be back on track for an outright win.

Not only that, but 1482 of the 2472 delegates would already have been allocated. That is just a hair under 60%.  Only 990 delegates would be left. And Trump would already have 785 of the 1237 delegates he would need to win outright. So he would only need 452 more delegates… or 45.66% of the remaining delegates. Which would probably be an easy ask given where the campaign would be at that point and the number of winner take all and/or winner take most states coming up. If he wins both states, the chances of a contested convention drop dramatically. We’re almost certainly looking at a clean Trump win.

Take away Ohio and Trump would no longer have a majority at this stage, and would still need 52.32% of the remaining delegates to win outright. This would still be very doable, just a little bit harder. In this scenario, we might be hanging on the edge between the contested convention and the Trump win for awhile.

Take away Ohio AND Florida and not only would Trump not have a majority, but he would need a full 62.32% of the remaining vote to win outright. This number would be more difficult to achieve, and the chances of a contested convention would then be very very high.

Now, this of course assumes the results are somewhat similar to the projections above in the other states too… but the general outlines of this are likely to remain true.

Where we are after March 15th will depend in huge part on Florida and Ohio. Right now Trump is way ahead in Florida, and has a slim lead in Ohio. But Trump has been underperforming his polls lately. If that trend continues, things may be closer than they look right now.

There are five and a fraction days left, including one more debate. So there is room for considerable movement as well.

But Trump has a significant advantage at this point. We are currently in the “contested convention” zone… but Trump is in a very good position to knock us out of there and into the “Trump wins” zone.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. 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.

Republicans: Rubio wins Puerto Rico, still on track for contested convention

Rubio walked away with 71% of the vote in Puerto Rico. Anything more than 50% meant that he got 100% of Puerto Rico’s 23 delegates.

In addition, some of the TBD delegates in Louisiana were determined since the post about the March 5th results. Rubio picked up 5 delegates while Cruz picked up 1. There are still 5 more delegates TBD from Louisiana. It looks like Louisiana’s rules state these should be officially uncommitted delegates, but the national rules don’t allow that this year, so… we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, that means since the last update, Rubio got 28 of 29 delegates…  96.55%! He had needed only 69.50% to be on track to catch up and win outright!

Uh, of course, nobody expects Rubio to continue at this pace in the next few states.

So lets look at where this puts the “% of remaining delegates needed to win” for the whole field:

chart-66

You see that dip downward for Rubio? He does actually improve this time around. Now he only needs 68.94% of the remaining delegates to catch up and win! That still seems unlikely given he only has 17.09% of the delegates so far, but at least he went in the right direction for once.

In the mean time, everybody else’s position got worse.

Specifically, Trump moved from needing 52.88% of the remaining delegates to needing 53.85%. For each contest where he fails to reach his needed percentage, the bar for the remaining contests gets higher.

The current delegate totals are: Trump 391, Cruz 304, Rubio 154, Kasich 37…  and 15 for people who have dropped out.

Next up on Tuesday for the Republicans are Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan and Mississippi. Lets take a quick look at how they look if we assume today’s RCP poll averages

Michigan (59 delegates):

  • RCP Poll average: 37.3% Trump, 19.8% Cruz, 16.8% Kasich, 15.2% Rubio
  • Estimated delegates: 25 Trump, 13 Cruz, 11 Kasich, 10 Rubio

Mississippi (40 delegates):

  • Only recent poll: 41% Trump, 17% Cruz, 16% Rubio, 8% Kasich, 5% Carson
  • Estimated delegates: 24 Trump, 10 Cruz, 6 Rubio

Idaho (32 delegates):

  • No polls, using national average: 35.6% Trump, 19.8% Cruz, 17.4% Rubio, 9.0% Carson, 8.8% Kasich
  • Estimated delegates: 32 Trump

Hawaii (19 delegates):

  • No polls, using national average: 35.6% Trump, 19.8% Cruz, 17.4% Rubio, 9.0% Carson, 8.8% Kasich
  • Estimated delegates: 10 Trump, 5 Cruz, 2 Rubio, 1 Carson, 1 Kasich

Now, Michigan has a bunch of recent polls. Mississippi’s only recent poll is from the last week of February, which isn’t that long ago, but a lot has happened in that week. And I don’t trust using national numbers for Idaho and Hawaii at all really, but that is the best I can do with no polling at all. So where does this get us:

Projected total for March 8th: Trump +91, Cruz +28, Rubio +18, Kasich +12, Carson +1

With these projections, Trump would get 60.67% of the delegates on March 8th. That would be more than the 53.85% of the delegates he would need to improve his position.

The new totals would be: Trump 482, Cruz 332, Rubio 172, Kasich 49… and 16 for people who have dropped out.

Doing the rest of the math, that is a total of 1051 delegates. 1421 delegates would still be available. Trump would need 755 more delegates to win outright, which would be 53.13% of the remaining delegates.

So Trump would have improved his position, but not by very much.

The above assumes that the current polls hold of course. The results this weekend may indicate that Trump has been weakened by the events of the last week. If so, he may significantly underperform these estimates, putting him in a worse position. So these may be estimates that are optimistic for Trump.

And that still keeps us in the contested convention zone. For now.

Trump’s big chance to break out of that won’t come until March 15th with Florida and Ohio’s 165 winner take all delegates.

Until then, watch to see if Trump is able to match his 53.85% target line on Tuesday.

Update 2016-03-09 03:32 UTC – Update to get ready for tonight’s results. New Oklahoma estimates add one delegate for Cruz, subtract one from Trump. This does not significantly change the analysis above.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. 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: Something Made A Noise

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast Ivan and Sam start off talking about things OTHER than Election 2016. The upcoming small iPhone announcement, corporate reorgs, Kanye and The Pirate Bay, feedback on the show, and more! But of course then it is election time. They cover the Super Tuesday results in both parties, the Republican delegate math, the possibilities of a Republican schism, and everything else surrounding the race that they can think of.

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

CCCover20151125bw
Recorded 2016-03-03

Length this week – 1:59:20

 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
 View Podcast in iTunes
 View Raw Podcast Feed
Download MP3 File
Follow the podcast on Facebook

Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:10:30) But First
    • Agenda
    • Small iPhone
    • Mexico City
    • Reorgs
  • (0:11:50-0:42:03) Lightning Round
    • Carillian prelude
    • Apple wins a round
    • Malaysian Plane
    • Kanye and Pirate Bay
    • Nearby House Fire
    • North Korea
    • Syria
    • Feedback
    • Sam’s Vote?
  • (0:43:08-1:28:41) Election 2016 Part 1
    • Democratic Super Tuesday Results
    • Sanders lost, get over it
    • Carson out
    • Christie and Trump
    • Rubio attacking Trump
    • Trump’s Business Success
    • Effect of Rubio’s Attacks?
    • Trump Delegate Math
    • Forcing a contested convention?
    • Delegate Shenanagans
    • Odds of President Trump?
    • Trump’s Policy Details
    • The Mexican Wall
    • Trump and Duke/KKK
  • (1:29:44-1:59:01) Election 2016 Part 2
    • Never Trump Republicans
    • Will the Republicans Split?
    • Is Clinton more conservative than Trump?
    • Trump’s Supporter’s Motivations
    • Immigrant Debate
    • Romney Attacks
    • Trump’s Free Media
    • Buying votes not working
    • The Next Contests

Republicans: Trump wins Super Tuesday. Is it too late to stop him?

The Republican Super Tuesday is over with the exception of a handful of delegates that were still undetermined when it was time for me to start writing up the results.

Last Tuesday I used polling to project what Super Tuesday would look like for the Republicans. The projection looked like this:

Estimate: 294 Trump, 246 Cruz, 67 Rubio, 11 Kasich, 6 Carson

We’ll dispense with the state by state totals, and jump right to the final results:

Actual: 252 Trump, 211 Cruz, 101 Rubio, 16 Kasich, 4 Carson, 6 TBD

The 6 that are still to be determined as of this update are from Tennessee (3 delegates) and Texas (3 delegates), but they won’t make much of a difference here.

The poll based estimates were not quite as close as they were for the Democrats. This may simply be because I did the estimates a full week out based on relatively sparse polling. There were a lot of polls in that last week, and it may well be that the results would have been closer if I had redone the analysis on Monday.

The general outlines of the estimate and the analysis based on them were basically correct though. The one notable difference is that Rubio did considerably better than the estimates, at the expense of both Trump and Cruz’s delegate totals. It appears that Rubio’s week of anti-Trump crusading may have worked.

The main consequence is that Trump was pushed a bit further away from the levels he needed to actually improve his position relative to last week. He was expected to lose ground anyway, but he lost more than it looked like he was going to. It was enough to push Trump back down below 50% of the delegates allocated so far:

chart (99)

On this metric, Cruz looks like he did the best coming out of Super Tuesday. But this is the wrong number to be looking at. The all important thing to be looking at is the “% of remaining delegates needed to win”:

chart (98)

Everybody’s position got worse! (Remember down is good on this chart… getting down to 0% means you win, going up to 100% means you are eliminated.)

Trump needed to get 49.4% of the Super Tuesday delegates to improve his position in terms of getting to a clean first ballot win. Instead, he got 43.1% of the delegates so far. So his “% of remaining delegates to win” increased to 51.6%.

We are back in the zone where if everybody performs the same as they have so far, we end up with Trump having more delegates than anybody else, but a bit short of the majority he would need to win. The “contested convention” scenario.

At this point the closest competitor is Cruz, who would need 57.7% of the remaining delegates in order to catch up and win outright. Next closest is Rubio, who would need 64.0% of the remaining delegates. Given their past performances, it seems unlikely that either will reach anything close to those numbers, especially since they both seem determined to stay in the race. It would take one of them dropping out AND a complete Trump collapse to enable that. This seems like an unlikely scenario at this point.

But both the Cruz and Rubio campaigns are now starting to openly talk about a contested convention. To do that, neither Cruz or Rubio need to get super-majorities of the remaining delegates. They don’t even need to get majorities. They don’t even need to have a majority of the delegates between them. They just need to keep Trump to less than 51.6% of the remaining delegates.

So Cruz + Rubio + Kasich (now that Carson has dropped out) just need to manage to get 48.4% of the remaining delegates between them. And if they successfully do that, they will need even less the next time around.

At this point, the best strategy to “stop Trump” is not for more people to drop out. It is for all three of the remaining non-Trumps to stay in to try to get as many delegates as they can, even if they know they can’t get to an outright win either. Strategies have been suggested such as the candidates working together and encouraging their supporters to vote for whichever non-Trump was strongest in each state in order to maximize the delegate totals. Then they would work it out at the convention.

That kind of coordination between rival campaigns is unlikely. But it could happen to some degree spontaneously between now and March 15th, just by the nature of having four candidates still in the race. Even though Trump is leading in a lot of the states in the next couple of weeks, it is possible the non-Trumps could keep him below that 51.6% target, and thus be on the road to a contested convention.

But… starting March 15th there are winner take all states. Not just states where the delegate totals are heavily weighted to the winner, but pure unadulterated winner take all.  If Trump is below 50% of delegates at that point, but not by all that much, and he is still leading the polls, then starting on March 15th, he’ll just start cleaning up and get back over 50% very rapidly, and then close out the contest.

In order to actually force a contested convention, the non-Trumps not only have to keep him below 51.6% of the delegates that are being doled out in the next couple weeks, they either have to keep him MUCH lower than that number in the next two weeks, or they have to damage him so much that by March 15th he is losing states left and right and the others can continue to pick up large numbers of delegates in the winner take all zone. Of course, the two might have to come together.

The odds of a non-Trump winning the nomination outright are now negligible absent a major event that destroys Trump’s prospects.

The ability to deny Trump a majority is still alive though. But the time for even that is running out quickly. The non-Trumps basically have two weeks.

Of course, Trump might still come out of a contested convention as the nominee, especially if he came in with a plurality of the delegates that wasn’t very far from the 50% mark. But all kinds of things can happen at a contested convention, including the emergence of a nominee who wasn’t even running. You never know.

One final thing before closing up. I have heard a lot of commentary saying that if any other candidate besides Trump was in the position he is in, he would already be being called the presumptive nominee. Maybe. But we really aren’t quite there yet.

Trump is definitely leading. He has better chances than anybody else of ending up the nominee. But at the same time…

Trump is clearly behind where either Romney or McCain were at this stage in the process. Digging up data from my 2008 and 2012 delegate tracking…

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 17.44.01901

We are currently at the point where about 29% of the delegates have been allocated. Super Tuesday was bigger in 2008, so we don’t have a data point between about 10% and 42%, but you can see that in that Super Tuesday event, McCain took a clear lead, leaving all of the competitors behind. Although things were still a muddle before Super Tuesday, from that point forward there was no stopping McCain. His dominance was unmistakeable.

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In 2012, Romney was over 50% of delegates earned almost from the very beginning. He continued to hover just below 50% of remaining delegates needed to win though, leading for continued talk of a possible brokered convention for awhile longer. It took until we got past 45% of delegates for Romney to really pull away and eliminate that possibility, making it a clean win.

2012 is probably the closest parallel to where we are today, but Romney never dropped below 50% of delegates after that first few percent at the beginning of the race. Trump is weaker than that at the moment… and his opponents are stronger. But the gap isn’t large. He trails Romney, but not by much.

We’re going to go from just under 30% of delegates determined today, to just under 60% after March 15th. Things will move very quickly, and if there really is going to be a good chance of a contested convention, the groundwork will be laid in these two weeks. If the non-Trumps want to stop Trump, that almost certainly needs to be the game plan at this point. And it has to start bearing fruit NOW.

[Update 2016-03-03 02:34 UTC – The 6 TBD delegates in Tennessee and Texas have been resolved, and there were other adjustments as results continues to be tabulated. Net changes happened in four states: Arkansas (Trump -1, Cruz +1), Massachusetts (Trump +1, Carson -1), Tennessee (Trump +2, Cruz +2, Rubio -1) and Texas (Cruz +4, Trump +2, Rubio -3). Total change for this update: Cruz +7, Trump +4, Carson -1, Rubio -4. New overall delegate totals are: Trump 338, Cruz 235, Rubio 113, Kasich 27, Carson 8, Bush 4, Fiorina 1, Huckabee 1, Paul 1. These changes do not substantively change the analysis above.]

[Update 2016-03-04 02:53 UTC – Update for Georgia: +1 Cruz, -1 Rubio.]

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. 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: Trump tipping point decline, Rubio takes lead in Michigan and nationally

Yeah yeah, Super Tuesday. Yeah, yeah, all the other states coming right afterwards. But we have new general election polls!

Since my last update there have been new polls in Michigan, New Hampshire and Kansas. From all of this, two major candidate pairs had changes to their summary status on my site. And this time, that includes the frontrunners:

Clinton vs Trump

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The categorization of Michigan did not change. “Weak Clinton” before, “Weak Clinton” now. But Michigan was the tipping point in Clinton vs Trump, so when Michigan moves, so does the tipping point:

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The tipping point moves from a 3.0% Clinton lead in Michigan to a 3.6% Clinton lead in Michigan. Either way, 3.6% is still a narrow lead. Only 1.3% of people changing their minds, or undecideds flipping the right way, would put Trump in the lead. The question is if we are now in a trend away from Trump in this metric, or if we are just bouncing around in a range as new polls jitter the averages. Too soon to tell. But once the primary races are both settled to the point where it is hard to deny the winners are the winners, we will start seeing an acceleration of general election polling, and we should start to see if there are really any trends here.

Clinton vs Rubio

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With the latest Michigan poll, Rubio leads in the poll average, which now shows a 0.9% Rubio lead. This moves Michigan from “Weak Clinton” to “Weak Rubio”. It is a close state that could easily go for either candidate, but with this change we move Michigan’s 16 electoral votes into Rubio’s column for the “expected” case where each candidate wins every state they are ahead in.

The move is extra significant this time because it actually puts Rubio over the top to win the whole shebang:

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With this, the range of possible outcomes that seem reasonably possible is still everything from Clinton winning by 126 to Rubio winning by 156, but the expected result is now a Rubio win by 20 electoral votes.

This is also reflected in the tipping point:

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The tipping point moves from Florida, where Clinton led by 0.8%, to Michigan where Rubio is now ahead by 0.9%.

Clinton vs Rubio remains a very close race. But Rubio now has a small advantage.

Others

Clinton vs Kasich is neither a front-running pair, or in the top five best polled combinations, so I won’t consider it fully here other than to note that the latest New Hampshire poll moved Kasich into the lead, changing his expected case from losing to Clinton by 46 electoral votes, to losing to Clinton by 38 electoral votes.

252.2 days until polls start to close on Election 2016.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. 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: Some good news for Cruz, Mixed news for Rubio

Yes, all the attention is on South Carolina and Super Tuesday, but time for a quick electoral college update from recent poll updates. In the last batch of polls were new matchup results in Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. These resulted in a few notable changes.

Clinton vs Trump

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Well, actually, once again there was no significant update in the Clinton vs Trump race, but in this transitional phase where we are still getting polling for folks other than the frontrunners, I’ll mention the frontrunner status when there is a post highlighting changes with other candidate pairs. Trump’s lead in the average in Georgia actually dropped from 10.1% to 9.5% changing Georgia from “Solid Trump” to “Strong Trump” in my categorization, but this really doesn’t make any difference. Georgia isn’t in play at the moment. The situation remains that anything from Clinton winning by 156 to Trump winning by 102 is within the realm of the possible, and Clinton winning by 50 is the “expected” result if all the states go where their averages are currently pointing.

Clinton vs Cruz

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Cruz improves a bit in Florida against Clinton, but not enough to change categories. Florida was however the tipping point state, so this also moves:

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Cruz’s upward tipping point trend continues. Just a little bit further, and the Clinton vs Cruz race might actually look competitive!

(Reminder, the tipping point represents the margin in the state that would put the winner “over the top” if you ranked the states by their candidate preference. It is a good measure of how much the candidate who is behind would have to change national public opinion to flip the result and win.)

Clinton vs Rubio

This matchup had notable changes caused by the polls in two different states. First up, Florida:

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The state didn’t change status. It was “Weak Clinton” before, and remains “Weak Clinton”. But as with Cruz, Florida was the tipping point state, and so the tipping point changes as well.

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By this metric Rubio peaked in November and has been declining ever since. A Clinton vs Rubio matchup still looks incredibly close though. Clinton is only ahead here by 0.8%.

So this was good for Clinton. But there was also a change in Wisconsin that was good for Rubio:

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All the recent polls have shown Wisconsin as a close state, whereas older polls had it Strong or Solid Clinton, and therefore the average has been moving up toward Rubio. With today’s update, it moves from “Strong Clinton” to “Weak Clinton”. This puts it in play for Rubio and improves his best case:

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There are now ELEVEN close states in the Clinton vs Rubio contest, accounting for 141 electoral votes, which is quite a swing! Everything from Clinton by 126 to Rubio by 156 is now “in the bubble”. Clinton remains a slight favorite, winning by 12 electoral votes if all the states ended up following current poll results. But this is a tiny margin. Clinton vs Rubio remains essentially a tied race, with Florida’s 29 electoral votes at the tipping point.

And that is where things stand at the end of February.

254.9 days left until general election polls start to close.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. 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: With new Ohio polls, Rubio and Cruz improve vs Clinton

We’re still in the phase where the pollsters ask about many candidate combinations. With the most recent polling in Ohio, there is no change in the Clinton vs Trump status, but there were changes to Clinton vs Rubio and Clinton vs Cruz. In both cases, the Republican position improves, and Clinton gets a little weaker.

Clinton vs Trump

No, this didn’t change, but since these are the two frontrunners, just a quick reminder of where that race stands:

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Anything from Clinton winning by 156 electoral votes to Trump winning by 102 electoral votes is plausible given the state polls. Clinton winning by 50 electoral votes is the “expected” result if each candidate wins all the states they are ahead in right now.

Clinton vs Rubio

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Ohio has been polled less often than one might expect for a state that is traditionally in the “swing state” category, and which looks like it might be again. But the polls for the last year or so have been trending in Rubio’s direction. With this poll, the average pops into the plus side for Rubio. He now leads in Ohio by 1.6% in the average. To be clear, that is still a very close race. But he now has the advantage, so we put Ohio on his side of the ledger.

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With Ohio back in his column again, if Rubio won every state he is ahead in, and Clinton won every state she is ahead in, Rubio would fall just 12 electoral votes short. He’s not back to leading the race yet, but it is very close. Flipping any one of Florida (0.2% Clinton lead), Virginia (1.2% Clinton lead), Minnesota (1.5% Clinton lead), Michigan (2.9% Clinton lead), or Nevada (4.5% Clinton lead) would do it.

With the large number of close states, anything from Clinton winning by 126 to Rubio winning by 136 would not be surprising though.

Clinton vs Cruz

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Cruz hasn’t managed to make Ohio competitive against Clinton yet, she still leads him by 6.0% in the poll average, but because with this update Ohio moved past the previous “tipping point state”, the tipping point here moves a bit toward Cruz.

As a reminder, the tipping point is the margin in the state that would put the winning candidate “over the edge” in the electoral college if you order the states by how strongly they support the candidates.  Like this:

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Prior to this update, the tipping point in Clinton vs Cruz had been Florida, where Clinton led by 6.6%. Now the tipping point is Virginia, where Clinton leads by 6.4%.

The tipping point is essentially like looking at the national popular vote, except it takes into account the structure of the electoral college. It tells you how far the polls would have to move across the board in all states to flip the winner.

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Cruz trails Clinton by 6.4% in this metric… but he has slowly but surely been improving his position since last May. It would take a bit more movement before he actually looked competitive with Clinton though.

And that is where things are today.

256.7 days until polls start to close on election night.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. 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.