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Unity08 Delegate Recruitment Rate Shoots Up to 448 per Day

Unity08 has a stated goal of registering 10 million delegates by July 1, 2008 to participate in the world’s supposed first-ever online secure national presidential nomination. That’s just 426 days from now.

Since Unity08 delegate signups began in January of 2007, delegates have been a subset of users, since people can sign up to be Unity08 users with privileges to post on a message board, but decline to become a registered delegate. On the other hand, all people who sign up to be delegates are also registered as users. Therefore, the number of registered delegates (not the number of registered “delegates and supporters,” a higher but conveniently untrackable number often cited by Unity08 — see pages 105 to 106 of Douglas L. Bailey’s redacted lawsuit deposition) must be lower than the number of registered users. Despite this, Unity08 has been claiming a new number of over 50,000 delegates for some weeks now, and explicitly repeating the claim in interviews. The number that simply does not match its own measurable performance.

On the evening of March 20, 2007, the first time I checked, the highest registered user number on Unity08 was 25,100.
On the morning of March 29, 2007, 8.5 days later and the highest registered user number was 27,409.
On the morning of April 4, 2007, 6 days later, the highest registered user number was 29,360.
On the morning of April 11, 2007, 7 days later, the highest registered user number was 30,301.
On the morning of April 18, 2007, 7 days later, the highest registered user number was 30,611.
On the morning of April 25, 2007, 7 days later, the highest registered user number was 31,807.
On the morning of May 2, 2007, 7 days later, the highest registered user number was 34,945.

Let’s be generous in our assumptions and imagine that each new user is also a new delegate. With that kind assumption, dividing the differences in user numbers by the days elapsed gives us the rate of delegate recruitment over time:

From 3/20/07 to 3/29/07: 272 new delegates per day.
From 3/29/07 to 4/4/07: 325 new delegates a day.
From 4/4/07 to 4/11/07: 134 new delegates a day.
From 4/12/07 to 4/18/07: 44 new delegates a day.
From 4/19/07 to 4/25/07: 171 new delegates a day.
From 4/26/07 to 5/2/07: 448 new delegates a day.

This is a new record, at least for the period in which I’ve been measuring the rate of change. It seems my initiation of a Unity08 Death Watch may have been premature. An appearance by Sam Waterston at the National Press Club, repeatedly televised by C-Span, and an uncritical Washington Post interview and article by Chris Cilizza may be related to this spike. Media matters.

Still, despite last week’s spike in delegate recruitment, Unity08 is still far behind the rate of recruitment it needs in order to meet its goal of 10,000,000 delegates by convention time.

At the latest recruitment rate of 448 delegates a day, Unity08 will add 190,848 more delegates by its nominating date of July 1, 2008. Even if we incorrectly assume that every current Unity08 user account represents a delegate, there are at the very most 34,945 current delegates. That means at the current rate, Unity08 would only muster a total of 225,793 delegates, a mere 2.3% of its declared goal of 10,000,000 nominating delegates.

As the weeks creep on with Unity08 managing only anemic delegate recruitment, the recruitment rate which Unity08 will need to muster to meet its goal continues to grow. If Unity08 is going to accomplish its goal of recruiting 10,000,000 nominating delegates, then beginning today and for the rest of this year and into the next, Unity08 will have to reach and sustain a recruitment rate of 23,392 delegates a day — a rate 52 times as high as this past week’s.

If, to get a bit too close to calculus, we think about the rate of the rate of change in Unity08’s delegate recruitment rate, Unity08 most recently added 277 delegates per day in the last week. If that rate of increase in the rate of recruitment is maintained, it will take Unity08 just under 83 weeks to reach the recruitment rate of 23,392 delegates a day. That’s 580 days, which is longer than the period until Unity08’s nominating convention. Also, for every day that Unity08 doesn’t manage to recruit 23,392 delegates, its needed recruitment rate creeps up just a bit more.

So no, Unity08 doesn’t look like it’s meriting a Death Watch this week after all. But even if it were to keep up its level of success from a very good week, and even if all those empty user accounts didn’t exist, and even if every user account was a delegate, it is very far from reaching its goal. Unity08 will have to make an exponential change in its recruitment rate in order to succeed.

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