Early Swarm of American Voters Predicted Kamala Harris’s Rise

Democratic Voters use Swarm AI Technology to Forecast Democratic Primary

Back in March, when the Democratic Primary field was just beginning to take shape, Unanimous AI convened a group of likely Democratic voters to generate insight into the most important issues and strongest candidates in what soon be a crowded race. Those insights were generated live from the floor of the 2019 SXSW festival, where Swarm AI technology was once again nominated for an Interactive Innovation Awards, and published on the Unanimous AI blog.

Now that the race has picked up steam and the first debates have been held, it’s worth taking a look at how the group of Democratic voters felt about some of the leading candidates. In particular, this post will focus on the performance of Kamala Harris in comparison to frontrunners Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and potential spoiler Beto O’Rourke. At the time of the swarm in early March 2019, former Vice President Joe Biden was widely expected to enter the race, but had not yet thrown his hat in the ring. On the other end of the spectrum, Mayor Pete Buttigieg had not yet delivered his breakthrough SXSW Town Hall, and was not yet a household name. So, this was very much early days.

The first interesting point is that the Swarm AI system was quick to dismiss Beto O’Rourke, a popular young candidate from Texas whose Senate campaign failed to beat Ted Cruz but picked up national momentum. Even with all of that name-recognition, Beto was deemed Least Likely to Win the Nomination in a field of six candidates including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. At the time, both Booker and Warren were polling in single digits, so Beto failing to outperform either of them in this research portended what is looking more and more like a stalled campaign with each day.

In contrast, Kamala Harris’s rise to the forefront of the Democratic Primary was no surprise to the likely Democratic voters in the SXSW Swarm. Here is a look at how Harris was evaluated against the would-be frontrunner, Joe Biden. As both the replay and the Support Density graph make clear, the group of Democratic voters was decisive in its support for Kamala Harris over the popular former Vice President. While Biden retains the lead in most polls, recent stumbles – including a confrontation with Kamala Harris at the first debate over the contentious issue of busing – have their campaigns headed in opposite directions, with Harris










The other candidate on the rise is Elizabeth “I have a plan for that” Warren who, like Cory Booker, was polling in the single digits at the time of the SXSW research. Since then, Warren’s dogged preparation and her laser-like focus on the issues has seen her stock rise since those early days. That said, at the time of the SXSW Swarm, the group of Democratic voters expressed a preference for Harris over Warren, as well.












Of course, the general election is still more than a year away, and the candidates will have ample opportunity to regain ( and lose ) momentum, including the second major debate later this month. But the results from the early research using Swarm AI technology suggests that Kamala Harris will take a backseat to no one in the race for the Democratic nomination.

About Unanimous AI

Unanimous AI is the maker of Swarm®, the world’s first SaaS platform for amplifying the intelligence of business teams. The Swarm platform and Swarm AI technology from Unanimous was recognized as SXSW’s 2018 “Artificial Intelligence Innovation of the Year” and was recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation ( #nsffunded #nsfstories ) to further its groundbreaking research.

Want to learn more about our Swarm AI technology? Check out our TED talk below…