As first-round voting approaches its close (on May 1st), Americans Elect Corporation managed to log a record-setting week, harvesting 1,707 qualifying votes for its Top 20 candidates (see graph). This was the highest weekly vote tally we have observed since we began vote-tracking in early March, although not by much, and not nearly a strong enough performance to change the story we have been reporting here week after week. With the voting period now 97% complete, no declared candidate has even 25% of the qualifying votes required to advance to the next round. And so we project the winner of the first Americans Elect ballot will be (...drum-roll...): no one.
Buddy Roemer fans continued a massive Twitter campaign this week, noticeably dimming the lights over much of America with what must have been thousands of 'vote Roemer' tweets and retweets. But the yield was a paltry 279 new ten-state qualifying votes -- not enough to move Buddy's needle. He remains nearly 8,000 votes short of the finish line, with less than half a week of voting left.
Presumptive candidate David M. Walker's peek-a-boo campaign had a busy week. The DraftWalker.com web site continued to take on a professional high gloss, Twitter activity by @DraftWalker was steady [EDIT: albeit limp], a Walker promotional video was released on YouTube (only to be pulled minutes later, after Irregular Times identified the college students in the video as Americans Elect operatives -- an apparent violation of AE's neutrality policy). Walker himself more than held up his end of the deal, looking deniably presidential on CNN and twice on MSNBC. The Washington Post speculated regarding a Walker candidacy. Now this is how it's done: deny you're a candidate while nodding and winking, form a draft organization, blanket the airwaves, and get your social media mojo working. But for all of this
Nonetheless, Walker's handful of new votes were still enough to put him ahead of declared candidates Michealene Risley and Laurence Kotlikoff this week, thanks in no small measure to the most-favored-candidate status Americans Elect conferred on his campaign a few weeks ago. Bad news indeed for Kotlikoff and Risley. Only candidates who are ahead of AECorp's Chosen One, Walker, can be completely confident of benefiting when Americans Elect inevitably moves the goalposts next week to avoid the prospect of having to declare this ballot -- and thus Americans Elect itself -- a total failure.
We almost said "...a failure of microscopic proportions."
[UPDATE]: In closing, we should note a collection of Stupid Math Tricks witnessed in and around Americans Elect this past week, including:
- The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza speculated...apparently without doing his homework first...that a David Walker run for President is "a prospect that seems more and more likely of late." Although this claim is formally correct (see above), it withers into insignificance when one considers the numbers in question. A weeks ago Walker had 1.32% of the vote total required for him to survive this round of balloting, a figure which increased to 1.86% this week. Thus, strictly speaking, Walker is precisely 0.54% "more likely of late" to run for President under the Americans Elect banner...a probability only half as good as his odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident.
- Buddy Roemer's campaign appears to be deeply confused regarding how voting works at Americans Elect (which might explain a lot). On April 27 his campaign staff tweeted "URGENT: Only 10 days left to support Buddy on @AmericansElect. Help him get into the first national online presidential primary!" According to AECorp Rule 2.2.2, "Each Declared Candidate shall demonstrate public support by Delegate Support Clicks on the Website 7 days before any Primary Ballot on which the Candidate seeks to be considered." And according to Rule 7.1, "The Primary Rounds shall be held on May 8, 2012, May 15, 2012, and May 22, 2012." This means that the current 'support' round of voting ends seven days before May 8, i.e., on May 1, not on May 7th as Roemer's campaign staff seems to think. Oops! In fairness, however, we should note in passing that AECorp Rule 5.7 allows that "in the event of an emergency declared by the Board, the Board may change or extend the date for voting." Perhaps Roemer's staff knows something the rest of us don't?
- Also on April 27, candidate Michealene Risley's campaign tweeted: "Keep Michealene in the top 5 on Americans Elect." We are unsure what "top 5" this refers to, as the graph above demonstrates that Risley is currently in 15th place overall at Americans Elect, or in the top 4 among declared candidates. Perhaps she shares our opinion that David Walker is a stealth declared candidate, which would put her in fifth place among declared plus stealth candidates. It is typical of the moveable feast which is Americans Elect that one is never quite sure how to interpret any apparent statement of fact.
Check back this Wednesday for a special mid-week 'Weakly Voting' finale, our post-mortem analysis and retrospective on the completed first-round ballot at Americans Elect Corporation... plus wild speculation from our Kremlin-watchers regarding AECorp's likely next trick to pull its fat out of the fire. We have some amusing new wild-eyed conspiracy theories. Bring your tin foil hats!