No update from the trip that was today. Or at least not yesterday, bleeding into today as it now is. I was fully intending to, and I was probably going to do some other stuff with my night as well, when I got bowled over with a (thankfully brief) project.
Em & I were watching the primary returns come in, already yearning for a time when there were more names and more excitement than we’re down to in this, the allegedly most wide-open year in American presidential politics of our lifetime. And the old discussion came up about whether the Republicans counting all primaries/caucuses proportionally – instead of the status quo, which contains a smattering of winner-take-all, proportional, and mixed counting – would have changed any of the results.
Emily asked and I chalked this up as a quick trip to Google. But either someone’s done it under the wrong keywords or not at all… somehow, in this modern era of instant punditry and an army of political paraprofessional bloggers, could it be that no one had actually run the numbers?
This kind of stuff is now just about my (new) job, so you’d think I’d be tired of it after spending most of my 8 hours today slogging through statistics. But I simply had to know. And I’m glad I found out, because the results will blow your mind.
The fact that this kind of thing isn’t front-page news is either surprising or very much not so. I guess it’s one of those moot points of alternate scenario simulation, since there was never even so much as a tangential discussion amongst the Republican top brass that they might change this age-old system of assigning delegates. But, much like the superdelegate thing, it’s got to make you wonder if people are even pretending there are direct links between the voters and the final decisions.
Anyway, I’m already imagining possible follow-up calculations, such as (obviously, and no one do it while I’m at work tomorrow!) what if all the Democratic primaries/caucuses were winner-take-all? That’s a lot simpler to figure out, although it’s also beyond unrealistic since it’s clearly “going in the wrong direction”. Not that this superdelegate thing giving Hillary a chance to still maintain the monarchy by backroom means is much better.
In any case, I’m plenty burned out on that project for now. It was one of those things, maybe like the old 64-team APDA national tournament concepts, that I just had to sit down and crank out in its entirety without pausing to consider what else I could be doing with my time. I hope someone pays at least a little attention. How did Julian Sanchez put it so long ago… “Storey Clayton is a crazy, crazy man. But the tropical heat of obsession has yielded entertaining fruit in this case.”
That’s damn right.