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Bernie Sanders on Track to Overtake Americans Elect Favored Buddy Roemer. What Then?

The privatized presidential nomination system called Americans Elect has erased all trace of it, but it’s important to note recent history:

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:

Number of People Tracking the top Contenders on Americans Elect, 12/11 to 12/19 2011: Bernard Sanders is on the rise.

Number of New People Tracking Possible 2012 Presidential Candidates on Americans Elect  for the First Time, by day, December 2011

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.

5 comments to Bernie Sanders on Track to Overtake Americans Elect Favored Buddy Roemer. What Then?

  • Tom

    It looks like Ron Paul is surging ahead here. But why do we concern ourselves with whom AE showcases, promotes, or nominates? These people are already on the ballots or could be written in without any acknowledgement of AE whatsoever! Eff them!

    • Why do we concern ourselves with it? Well, I can’t speak for you, but I am concerned with the Americans Elect process to uncover knowledge about it, not least because an Americans Elect candidate will be on the ballot, having a real effect upon the leadership of our country for four years. You and I both know that write-in candidates for President aren’t likely to go anywhere. None of these people are actually literally on the ballot now; there’s a process and how the process works shapes the result of who’s on the ballot. That makes this worth tracking, too. More generally, I find Americans Elect to be an intriguing case study in the exercise of power and the ability of money to buy a place on TV and in the national debate. You might not agree with me that knowing about how this works is important, in which case we’ll just have to disagree.

  • Bill

    AECorp’s fumblings just get more embarrassing every day. Their ‘process’ (if you can call a stacked deck a process) is a circus. I think they should use an applause meter.

    This whole tracking nonsense is just a head-fake, anyway, intended to suggest that there’s some kind of actual horse race going on. Junk bond billionaire and AECorp Grand Wizard Peter Ackerman is all about getting Michael Bloomberg into the White House…someone who understands and can respond to the unique challenges of Wall Street tycoons. And Bloomers is certainly making noises like he’s ready to run.

  • Mark B.

    It’s really interesting to see a graph of the trends for ‘tracking’ candidates. Thanks for that!

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