Photo by AP/Stephen B. Morton via Mashable
There’s this thing about poll numbers and statistics that a lot of us learned in college. Without raw numbers, we can get them to say anything we want. In a country that lives and dies by poll numbers, that’s a scary thought – especially when the numbers are feeding a shocking untruth that is driving media exposure.
In the case of the 2016 Republican Party race for the presidential nomination, thus far, the big story is that a progressive Democrat posing as a conservative hawk, Donald Trump, who wants to “make America great again,” is WAAYYYY ahead in the polls. In some polls, yes. In polls of actual GOP voters, less so, as we found out last week.
Then there’s the Macromeasures study that was released this week. They analyse social media trends of the various platforms. According to them, less than 40% of Trump’s 3.72 million Twitter followers are actually eligible to vote. What’s more, less than one percent of his followers come from the states crucial to win the nomination and his women followers…yeah not so much.
Macromeasures analysed that data on the social media platform that has become a bragging point in politics, for a number of candidates and compared followings in a number of significant sectors:
So, by those measures, is Donald Trump really ahead? If one considers the sheer numbers when it comes to Twitter following – Marco Rubio has 816,000 followers, Carly Fiorina 452,000, and the others are in that ballpark – Trump still has around 1.46 million followers who are eligible to vote. That still beats any one candidate on numbers alone. However, as people start dropping out of the race, consolidation of their followers and supporters may well go to other candidates.
What is interesting, though, is that in his zeal to race to the top of the GOP heap in 2016, The Donald is touting his following numbers from all over the world, not just Americans. When one actually drills down, the question on whether or not Trump is ahead in the nomination has no clear answer. Ultimately, that doesn’t mean much, but it is true that the numbers are being made to LOOK like he is, and that can sway many a person who is sitting on the fence and would like to be associated with a winner. However, many of those people don’t vote in state primaries, and a lot of primaries voters aren’t hanging out on Twitter. After all, it is the place where logic goes to die.