Predicting Winning Political Platforms

Washington, DC, July 4th, 2009 -- The "Gut Feeling" of political candidates and their campaign managers has both won, and lost their bid for election. When they read the prevailing sentiments of the electorate they win, when they mirror the leanings and agendas of their advisers they lose.

Most candidates tend to rely on such interactive tools as surveys, focus groups and feedback from campaign calling. The problem with this old method is that it is flawed in the age of intense electronic persuasion, instant messaging and social media such as Twitter. The time between the call, plus the time of collecting and analyzing results means that the candidate at best is using old data, and at worst using historical data that bears no resemblance to the current situation.

Then in 2005 a whole new theoretical way of polling and watching the voters came on the scene, that of "Swarm Intelligence". Researchers had wondered for a long while what makes a random group of creatures move together, yet separate themselves, keep close, identify their like groups, and move in a known direction. Birds such as Starlings do it dramatically, so do shoaling fish, to find food and avoid predators, and so do Bees and Ants again to find food. What fascinated the academic researchers is that people swarm too. They swarm to fashion trends, supermarket best buys, hit music, and politicians at election times. Seems that they swarm just as much as the Starlings and Herring. They instinctively avoid danger, and swarm towards food, beauty and pleasure.

The science has been around a while. What is new is the cheap computer and storage power to develop a program to track, and predict these swarms. Today it's available, and new "Swarm Intelligence" is beginning to make it's mark on the political, management, technical and even the sales field. The most effective "Swarm Intelligence" tools paint an easily read graphical radar like picture, with the ability to look at events, movements and size of issues as a dynamic pattern on the computer, iphone or Blackberry. In fact virtually real time from anywhere in the world.

Political speech writers can see the hot topics, and the topics that are moving away, and towards the center of the radar picture. Often this movement, and rate of movement speaks volumes of the thoughts of the masses. The candidate that can speak about these growing concerns will be the one the masses, or voters will listen to. The candidate who flogs an old dying horse will fade away to obscurity, eclipsed by the issues considered at that time to be important to the electorate.

The system was beta tested on the Romney campaign and proved outstanding. Since then it has been tested on the political process in Washington, DC and validated by information from within the Administration and Congress, not usually available for publication. The results were staggering as strange movements of key players suddenly turned out to preempt blockbuster news announcements, Governor Sarah Palin for example, was seen to move out of the news positive zone into the wilderness zone and then the announcement gave us the reason why.

During evaluation I kept muttering "There's a surprise" as the Swarm Intelligence algorithms showed movement in and out of the inner circle, and issues moved to the center and dominated, to a greater or lesser extent, the debate and focus of the Obama Administration. Computers are cold and analytical, and unlike political advisers do not have an agenda of their own. The sources of data come from swarming bots not from lobbyists, political action committees, or media campaigns to influence the decision makers. We have the future of political intelligence in our hands!

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