Friday, August 10, 2012

Handicapping the VP race based upon Wikipedia edits

The concept of predicting a VP candidate based upon the volatility of their Wikipedia biographies, as CNN explains, is not new.

In the past, Wikipedia activity has spiked for vice presidential picks the day before an official announcement was made. In 2008, hours before Republican candidate John McCain announced his vice presidential choice, Sarah Palin's Wikipedia page was getting a heavy edit. According to The Washington Post, the then-Alaska governor's page was changed 68 times the day before the announcement. In the 24 hours leading up to Obama's running mate announcement, Joe Biden's page was edited 40 times.

So I decided to take an updated look, heading into the weekend, at activity for "the Big Four" ostensible VP contenders.

Wikipedia modifications to VP contender biographies over the last week:

• Rob Portman: 159 changes.
• Paul Ryan 96 changes
• Marco Rubio 83 changes
• Tim Pawlenty 34 changes

Wikipedia modifications to VP contender biographies over the last day:

• Paul Ryan 38 changes
• Rob Portman: 33 changes.
• Marco Rubio 24 changes
• Tim Pawlenty 11 changes

If recency is any indicator, it looks like Paul Ryan is coming on strong.

I can't imagine Rob Portman -- a pasty, boring white guy, affiliated with the Bush administration and who is largely unknown outside Washington -- as the VP candidate. Sorry, I just can't.

As for Tim Pawlenty: based on the stats, he looks like a non-entity when it comes to VP contender status. Which is as it should be. The guy dropped out of the GOP primary in what seemed to be about four days.

Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan would both make outstanding choices. Charisma. Principles. Brains. All of the things, in other words, lacking in Joe Biden.


Chris Graham said...

I predict that unfortunately it will be Pawlenty. His website has been down for the last three weeks. It just says, "Please come back later." If Ryan is the VP pick and we lose the election, Ryan's conservatism and "radical" budget will be blamed and ultimately will do more harm to conservatism if we lose than if Rubio is on the ticket and we lose. I don't think we WOULD lose with a Ryan VP, but I think we have better chances of winning the election if Rubio is the VP and, if we lose, conservatism will suffer less of a blow. I've been an all-out VP Ryan guy for the last month, but only recently changed to Rubio.

Chundog said...

I'm hoping it's Ryan. He's young, smart and I think moderate Democrats are getting sick of all the leftist garbage.
Like @Chris, I also hope it's not Pawlenty. He would be the worst choice.

I really like Rubio, but I still worry about the "natural born citizen" question. I have a feeling the Democrats are just waiting to pounce on that.

Although the Republicans might be able to turn it around and use it to their advantage.

I just pray it's not Pawlenty.

Redwine said...

I hope it will be Ryan. We can't afford to lose Rubio's presence in the Senate.

Anyone else on the short list (and other RINOs like Condi and Christie) would be a disaster. Jindal might be an option. He was under consideration some time ago.

Robert Janicki said...

Let's look on the bright side. Anyone the Republicans put up for VP will decimate Slow Joe Biden in any debate. Biden can't even read off a teleprompter let alone spontaneously off the top of his head without making a gaffe.

I would prefer not to have either Rice or Christie as the VP nominee. After that I will remain open to the others being considered.

Ultimately it will depend upon whether Romney can man up and stay on message regarding the economy and unemployment, with only short and temporary forays into responding to Obama's campaign lies. Romney needs to show some controlled anger with liberal lies and the lying liars and their abetting sycophants in the MSM. Republican PACs need to gear up and step up their attacks on Obama's abysmal record of repeated failures.