In early November, Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer made an appearance at an Americans Elect event. Shortly after that, Americans Elect promoted Buddy Roemer’s candidacy, making public its “finding” that Buddy Roemer is the one politician out of hundreds of politicians who best matches the nation’s positions on issues of the day. Shortly after that, Buddy Roemer announced he would run for President under the banner of Americans Elect.
All through November, Buddy Roemer was Americans Elect’s publicly favored candidate, despite clauses in the bylaws and draft rules of Americans Elect that explicitly prohibit such favoritism. All this attention got Buddy Roemer a spot as one of the four most tracked contenders at Americans Elect; thanks to its promotion of certain candidates, and Americans Elect was subsequently able to remove its overt ratings and obtain the same results by now promoting only the “most tracked” contenders, making it appear that those contenders got their status through a neutral process.
Regardless of this, over time Buddy Roemer has lost his relative standing in the numbers of people tracking him. Ron Paul is the most tracked presidential contender on the system, Barack Obama is in second place, and Jon Huntsman is in third. Not coincidentally, these are the three others who received the favor of special promotion on the Americans Elect candidates page over the last month. But passing Gary Johnson within the last week and closing in on Buddy Roemer in the numbers tracking him — with absolutely no special promotion by Americans Elect — is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Even though Americans Elect produced an error-prone profile of Senator Sanders (see it for yourself), over the last week (the period when I’ve been paying attention) Sanders has been gaining trackers at twice the rate of Buddy Roemer:
This trend raises an interesting question, a test of sorts: Americans Elect has communicated its favor for Buddy Roemer in the past, and has never said really nice things about Bernie Sanders. What happens if Bernie Sanders actually overtakes Buddy Roemer in the number of people tracking him on Americans Elect? If that happens, will Americans Elect remove Buddy Roemer from its first-page promotion of the four most tracked and begin to promote Bernie Sanders in his place? Or will Americans Elect find a new way to promote a candidate it has favored in the past? Wait, watch, and see.