[UPDATE: this post was drafted March 10, just prior to the March 15 primaries that saw Rubio drop out and Kasich win Ohio; I forgot to publish it at the time, so for context this was written then, but applies to the future.]
Seven years ago I predicted Barack Obama would win the Democratic nomination, and not because he had a better stump speech or I felt a yearning for his brand of exceptionalism, but because he was uploading images to Flickr more often than Hillary Clinton. Yes you read that right. Pundits talk about the role of social media in elections today. Where were they in 2008? That moment already happened. Now, granted, myspace was still a thing back then, but here’s what I wrote at the time:
but like I say, Clinton hasn’t updated her Flickr in nearly 10 days.
so I’m going to make a prediction here: the contender with the most content WINS. simple.
no political insight, no analysis, no “deep” dialogue here folks. the MOST content WINS.
here are the current stats:
YouTube videos: 223
Flickr photos: 3,081
facebook supporters: 82,139
myspace friends: 169,914
YouTube videos: 523
Flickr photos: 14,032
facebook supporters: 285,634
myspace friends: 238,459
per my analysis my decision is obvious. but this is only a prediction!
You can see at the time he had 285,634 “facebook supporters” – his Facebook page as of this writing has 47,336,210 “total likes” (and even went up 0.4% over last week – still going up!).
I wrote that on January 28, 2008, just under one year before Barack Hussein Obama would be sworn in for his first of two terms in office. (Aside: on the eve of his inauguration I was biking around the Lower Ninth in NOLA, reminiscing about the tragedy of Katrina and the legacy of GW Bush on the American psyche – in more ways than one, GW Bush is responsible for Obama and for the now-current rise of Drumpf.)
So about that Drumpf phenomenon. And specifically about the numbers.
I’ve been scrutinizing the numbers for some time now. And unlike the pundits I’m not paid to feed false information – I’m being purely subjectively-objective about my analysis.
In 2012 it was then-Twitter’s ascendance and the discrepancy in Willard Mitt Romney’s numbers; I’m still certain that was a bigger scandal than the press gave it coverage for, but it essentially backs up the claim that I’ve been making for nearly a decade now that Republicans simply don’t understand “social” because at its heart is organic growth, and they’re very much in favor of systemic growth instead. (Nevermind that all of Willard’s former mi.tt shortlinks now redirect to a Chinese-language 404 error hosted on pna.cn – pretty much an indicator of how he would have ran the country.)
A year ago I showed how Chris Christie was never going to even have a successful run at POTUS let alone be POTUS, because of his inability to draw crowds in Europe the way Obama did 7-8 years prior.
And perhaps most explicitly I gave an analysis after the 2014 midterms that was very numbers driven; and that actually is sort of a springboard to today. In that analysis I showed how while numbers across the board were up especially in “red” states, red voter turnout was actually down and blue voter turnout was actually up, only the differential remained that there were more native red voters than blue so elections still went red.
This year the rules have changed. But I want to make a couple predictions, and even one outright declaration.
The first, which is more of a gut-prognostication, is that Drumpf will go to the Republican Convention in July with just-under the 1237 threshold needed to secure the nomination. I’m not concerned with ‘what this will do to the Party’ – I don’t care. But a rule is a rule. Everyone is saying if he’s ‘within target’ of 1237 it’ll be hard to wrestle the nomination from his hands; but 1236 is not 1237! A rule is a rule! So no it wouldn’t be hard; and not having the majority of delegates doesn’t even imply a struggle will take place, it simply means the delegates are ‘bound’ to their winner in the first round. And I’m prognosticating that the first round will be just below the threshold – now that would be interesting!
Beyond the convention, pundits are proclaiming this the Era of Drumpf, with his ‘surge’ in numbers-capability that even Obama didn’t have in ’08. OK, that’s interesting – let’s examine that thought.
Out of the gate I’d like to declare: it doesn’t matter. No one is actually voting for Drumpf, or Cruz, or Rubio. OK there are numbers in play, but let’s examine just how many:
Kansas was a Caucus, but still. The numbers were:
Cruz, 48.2%, 35,207 votes
Trump, 23.3%, 17,062 votes
Rubio, 16.7%, 12,189 votes
Kasich, 10.7%, 7,795 votes
You go, “WOW, 48.2%, that’s a LOT!” Yeah, so, in 2014 Kansas had a population of ~2.904M; Cruz’s tally accounts for 0.012% of the state population. In fact, all the nominees’ votes only account for 0.0249% of the state population. 2.49%! Not even 2.5 in every 100 residents voted in the primary (caucus). So Cruz gets 24 delegates and Trump gets 9, Rubio 6 and Kasich 1 – but it doesn’t matter! Because less than 3% of the state even participated in the process. Same goes for the Dems – turnout in primaries is abysmal, it’s an archaic way of nominating candidates.
But here’s my main thesis…prediction:
In the 2012 Republican primary the state of Texas (which voted much later, on May 29, 2012) cast 1,449,477 votes; Willard Romney won with 1,001,387 (69.09%) votes.
This time around Ted Cruz alone got nearly as many votes as the entire voting populace in the 2012 primary. This translated to:
Cruz, 43.8%, 1,239,370 votes
Trump, 26.7%, 757,618 votes
Rubio, 17.7%, 502,223 votes
Kasich, 4.2%, 120,257 votes
Everyone – public and pundits – are looking at those numbers and going, “Surge. SURGE. SURGE!!” Texas accounts for a 95% increase in primary voting over 2012:
OK, that’s interesting. Texas awards 38 votes in the Electoral College. So this is where it gets real interesting.
You could have nominal turnout in a state like California (55 votes) and a surge in voting in Texas and the results won’t matter.
In 2012 10,696,051 people voted in California, 7,850,239 voted in Texas. You could have a drop in voting in California of 11% and that would mean 9,519,486 people would vote, meanwhile you could have a “surge” in Texas of 25% more people voting and 9,812,798 people would vote. More people would vote in Texas than California but Cali would still award 55 delegates to the Dems and Texas only 38 to the Republicans (it’s assumed Cali will go “blue” and Texas “red”). See where I’m going?
I predict: Republicans will win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College vote!
Less than 3.5M (or 0.02856% of the votes cast) separated Willard Mitt from Barack Hussein, but the electoral college difference was 332 to 206! That’s a 38% spread differential! Mitt got crushed!
This time around, 3.5M more people could easily come out and vote for Drumpf, but it won’t matter if you don’t win the states where the delegates count. In other words, win the popular, lose the Electoral College.
Mark my words people!!