Swarm of American Voters Forecast Democratic Primary During SXSW


Unanimous AI Creates AI-Optimized Forecast for 2020 Democratic Primary

In a crowded field of candidates for the Democratic nomination to run in the 2020 general election, political forecasters and pundits are looking to new methods and technologies to help them understand which candidates may break through once primary ballots start to be cast. With well over a dozen people already vying for the nomination and barnstorming early primary states, topics like the “Green New Deal”, minimum wage hikes, healthcare and Medicare-for-all have dominated the primary conversation. Campaigns and candidates are especially interested in which issue possesses the most currency with constituents who are the most probable Democratic primary voters and caucus-goers.

To forecast this important primary, Unanimous AI brought together a group of persons identified as likely Democratic primary voters in 2020 to explore the issues and candidates that will take center stage in the lead up to the 2020 Democratic Party Convention and general election. Demonstrated live on the Swarm platform during the 2019 SXSW festival, the participants were asked about the issues and candidates and how voters who share their views might form opinions in choosing a nominee to run against President Donald Trump.  The primary voters were asked produce a ranked list of voter priorities when considering a candidate or nominee. This list was generated using an Iterative Elimination Process which insures that each option is weighed against the others the maximum number of times, which compels the participants to repeatedly evaluate their position and response.

Early news cycles and town halls have revolved around hot topic items like “Medicare for All” and the Green New Deal proposal, but Swarm AI technology revealed a clear top priority: electability and ability to beat Donald Trump. Here the group’s response reflects similar results from both a March 19 CNN/SSRS poll and a February 5 Monmouth University Poll that suggest that all other issues pale in comparison to the difficult-to-define sense of “electability.”

The Swarm platform required only 30 voters to match the insights produced by hundreds and thousands of respondents to Monmouth and CNN polls, respectively. In fact, researchers asked this group the same question with the same wording as it appeared in the Monmouth poll on a follow-up question after this ranking exercise, in order to compare the results of the poll to the output of the Swarm AI system. The key question was, would the group of voters be in agreement with the idea that the number one priority of Democratic primary voters in 2020 was a perceived ability of a candidate to unseat President Trump, and the results were consistent.











On the left, the group of likely Democratic voters converges on an answer as part of a real-time emergent intelligence inside the Swarm platform. The Support Density Plot on the right visually summarizes the swarm’s behavior in a single image. The heatmap represents the density of magnet pulls over the duration of the group’s response: the more dense an area, the more users were pulling towards that area. The puck’s trajectory is plotted on top of this heatmap, to visualize the movement of the puck over the course of the question.

Researchers at Unanimous AI were able to not only take the group’s explicit rankings of one through six into account, but also dive deeper into their responses to provide scaled rankings that show three or four prioritized tiers. At the top is the most interesting answer: electability, which pairs up with healthcare platform and policy. The second tier of importance is a candidate’s stance on the environment and his or her economic initiatives. At the bottom of the list are gun-control and immigration policy, respectively.  Based on the in-swarm chat activity observed by researchers, it’s clear that all of these elements are considered at least somewhat important by this group of voters, but when compelled to rank them as a Swarm Intelligence, this was how things came into focus.

The surprisingly strong showing of “Electability” as the top priority of Democratic voters at first glance may suggest that the candidate in the crowded Democratic field who might break free would be the one who does the best job of attacking the President and his positions. However, in a subsequent question, the group offered a more nuanced insight into how they saw “Electability” in the context of the upcoming primaries.











This suggests that the breakout candidate may NOT be one who focuses on making an explicit case for why he or she can beat the incumbent president through direct attacks. Instead, it appears that the group of Democratic voters is suggesting that the winning path to nomination for a Democratic candidate in 2020 may be an “Electability” that emerges organically from focusing on the other issues of concern to potential primary voters.



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. hashtags.

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