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August 14, 2015

Interesting: Less Than 40% of Trump's Social Media Supporters Are Actually Registered to Vote

We batted around this question (without knowing any numbers) on the podcast.

Here are the results of one study. Just one. We can't take this as the final word on the matter.

The most glaring discovery was that of Trump's audience, a mere 39.4 percent were actually eligible to vote--the lowest of any GOP candidate analyzed. To put this in perspective, 95.7 percent of Fiorina’s audience could cast a ballot.

The article calls this a "weakness," but is it? They can't vote currently, but that doesn't preclude the possibility they'll sign up to vote for Trump. And ergo, they'd be those "new voters," or part of the large fraction of the public that doesn't vote but can be lured into voting.

Now, if they continue not bothering to register to vote, then they continue making themselves irrelevant to participatory democracy, and then Trump's actual numbers are a lot weaker than they appear.

This is interesting too, but I don't know how to square it with his good Iowa poll numbers:

On top of that, Trump only received 0.9 percent of social media activity (defined by hashtag use) coming out of the key, early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to Macromeasures' findings.

One thing I've suspected about the RINO put-down: It often comes from people I suspect who aren't even Republicans in Name Only, that is, it often comes from people who aren't registered to vote or don't vote. I say that because it frequently comes from someone with a fairly radical and cynical take on voting and government; it's hard for me to imagine that more than half of such people bother voting in what they claim to be a rigged game in the first place.

I don't say much about that, because it's largely irrelevant in a comments area -- there's no requirement you register to vote to comment on the news -- but it does, obviously, have implications on the political impact of certain viewpoints. If some viewpoints are only occasionally registered at the ballot box, they won't have much of an effect in actual politics (as opposed to the sort of para-politics of arguing about politics).

Update: People are telling me that the study speaks of Trump supporter not being "eligible" to vote -- which is more than not just being registered. Some suggest the ranks may include felons (well, look, that can't be too high a number) and may include people who are simply not US citizens.

I note these objections while still thinking "not eligible" means, mostly, not currently eligible, i.e., unregistered.

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posted by Ace at 12:11 PM

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