Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bernie Beats Biden


Last night, Bernie Sanders (I) surpassed Joe Biden (D) [not yet announced] in terms of total Likes. Sanders now has 837K to Biden's 836K as of midnight central time.

Sanders is still behind Hillary Clinton (D), the forerunner of the Democrats (1,066K). However, over the last 11 days, Sanders has added at least 1.5 times as many Likes as Clinton each night. Especially considering that he is behind still, it should come as no surprise that his percent increase in Likes has been at least double hers over the same timeframe. In fact, a linear best fit line of Clinton's lead now predicts Sanders surpassing her in 88 days if we use the data from my entire span of collection. Over these past 11 "magical" days for Sanders, the same fit shows him rivaling Clinton in 71 days. Assuming linear growth in Likes for Sanders, this would put both of them at 1.25M Likes.

To further this analysis, I performed a simple linear regression (best-fit line) for each candidate based on all the data I have so far (admittedly, it's not fair to Scott Walker [R], because most of the data for him shows no change since he announced after I started collecting data), and extrapolated it. The following animation shows the total estimated number of Likes for each candidate running up until the election.

Interestingly, it shows that by the time of the election, we could expect Donald Trump (R) to be up against Sanders. However, because primaries happen earlier, we should look at where candidates are estimated to be around Super Tuesday. In that case, this model predicts Trump to have 8.2M Likes compared to Ben Carson's (R) 2.64M and Sanders' 2.56M. This is perhaps the simplest possible model for analyzing this data, but an interesting one nevertheless.

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