Can Facebook Predict Dallas's Next Mayor? A Social Media "Psychic" Works His Magic.

Categories: Politics
KERAMayoralCandidates.jpg
One of these men will be the next Dallas mayor -- but will the polls validate a Facebook-based preditcion?
Not surprisingly, all four of Dallas's mayoral candidates have Facebook fan pages, some (David Kunkle) more active than others (Edward Okpa). But what, if anything, do Facebook numbers mean? Are they indicators of electoral momentum or of quick-thumbed interns?

A Chicago-based social media guru says Facebook numbers, when viewed in the context of overall page activity, are very telling. In fact, he says, he predicted Chicago's mayoral election based on semi-scientific analysis of candidates' pages. And he happily analyzed our local would-bes' pages to make a prediction about tomorrow's election.

Johnny Campbell, The Transition Man (who has nearly 500 Facebook fans and a social media training business in Chicago), tells Unfair Park that a candidate's Facebook fan numbers are an important indicator election success, along with what he calls "engagement" -- the amount of social media interaction between a candidate and his fan base.

"I'm looking at their number of fans, the amount of engagement, the amount of responses on their walls by other people than themselves, as well as events and discussions," Campbell says. "I'm just using my own gut instinct to a degree."

The night before the Chicago mayoral election, he correctly predicted that Rahm Emanuel would win and accurately predicted the standings of the candidates behind him. We know: Emanuel killed it in Chicago, raking in well over the majority of the vote he needed, so that prediction doesn't mean much.

So: Is his "science" legit, just fun or somewhere in between? There's only one way to find out.

Johnny Campbell.jpg
Johnny Campbell
Let's put Johnny Facebook to work. And remember, if Saturday's outcome turns out as he says, you heard it here first.

Campbell's predictions:

1. David Kunkle

... and no runoff.

The analysis:

"It seemed like Kunkle had a little bit more of engagement than Rawlings did on his fan page," Campbell says, adding that it was a close margin. "Him being police chief created more of a conversation." Campbell notes the "links floating around on Kunkle's [page] about Angela Hunt," calling her an "influencer," as far as he could tell on Facebook. "And those make a difference when you're running for office."

Hedging his bets, Campbell adds that campaign finances are not clear on Facebook, but can heavily influence an election's outcome. With that major caveat, Rawlings could be the man to unhinge the Facebook activity/election day correlation. Tomorrow will tell.

When Unfair Park asked Campbell for a professional title to sum up his emerging side-career of making Facebook predictions, he laughed at the suggestion of "social media psychic" and instead suggested "social media strategist." Either way, he's confident things will play out as he says they will.

"I'm probably 90 percent sure," he says.

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20 comments
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Jay
Jay

The run off is not part of the prediction without polling numbers that's hard to tell. Regarding the overall election results he is still in line to be right based on his facebook fan page predictionP.S He has already pick the 3rd and 4th place finishers in the race correctly based on their  Facebook fan pages. 

Ed D.
Ed D.

Predicting Edward Okpa for 4th place doesn't make him Nate Silver.

Victoria
Victoria

Many of you missed this important statement:  The night before the Chicago mayoral election, he correctly predicted that Rahm Emanuel would win and accurately predicted the standings of the candidates behind him.  Hello, correctly predicting the order of losing candidates according to FB is quite a fete. Tonight will tell if Johnny Campbell does it again!  Stay tuned, FB fans.

Victoria
Victoria

 Many of you overlooked this important statement:  The night before the Chicago mayoral election, he correctly predicted that Rahm Emanuel would win and accurately predicted the standings of the candidates behind him.  News flash for you, correctly predicting the order of losing candidates according to FB is quite a fete. Tonight will tell if Johnny Campbell does it again!  Stay tuned Dallas and FB fans.

Victoria
Victoria

 You missed this important statement:  The night before the Chicago mayoral election, he correctly predicted that Rahm Emanuel would win and accurately predicted the standings of the candidates behind him.  Correctly predicting the order of losing candidates according to FB is quite a fete. Tonight will tell if Johnny Campbell does it again!  Stay tuned, FB fans.

scottindallas
scottindallas

There might be something to the prognosticator.  However, I don't think the bulk of voters in Dallas will be influenced by FB.  The old white haired and white beards will decide this election.  That means I think Rawlings has the advantage and Kunkle will be able to force a run-off.  While Kunkle would seem, in my mind to be more popular among Facebookers, I think the bulk of voters in Dallas are older conservatives and establishmentarians--which is the correct form of the double negative "antidisestablishmentarians." 

I think Mr Johnson's theory might be better at picking democratic races (and those races where dems are likely to take the election) better than those that would favor conservative candidates.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Johnny Campbell and this blog for posting this bag of crap is exactly that,  a bag of crap.  See you tonight around 9pm to prove it.  Rawlings with atleast 40% and a run-off.  See you in a few hours!!!

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

As stated, Rawlings with atleast 40% and a run-off.

Victoria
Victoria

 You missed this important statement:  The night before the Chicago mayoral election, he correctly predicted that Rahm Emanuel would win and accurately predicted the standings of the candidates behind him.  Correctly predicting the order of losing candidates according to FB is quite a fete. Tonight will tell if Johnny Campbell does it again!  Stay tuned, FB fans.

Mark Anthony
Mark Anthony

Has anyone noticed that Ratinsky's site is blocked (rather, it's guarded) by a 14-foot tall giant head? If you don't like the head, you can't see his Facebook page.

Talk about not being very transparent?? Guess he does not want anyone to see how Gold Medal Recyclers paid for everything?

MattL1
MattL1

WHOA!  This guy predicted that Rahm would win the Chicago mayoral election?!  He really went out on a limb with that one.  Did anyone ask him who would win the Preakness?  What are next week's Powerball numbers?

"Probably 90% sure" sounds more like he's 65% sure.

Victoria
Victoria

You missed this important statement:  The night before the Chicago mayoral election, he correctly predicted that Rahm Emanuel would win and accurately predicted the standings of the candidates behind him.  Correctly predicting the order of losing candidates according to FB is quite a fete. Tonight will tell if Johnny Campbell does it again!  Stay tuned, FB fans.

LikeMeLikeMe
LikeMeLikeMe

Facebook likes do not equal votes. Just like campaign signs do not equal votes. It just means that someone is good at social media. It's a plus in a campaign, but it is not the end all be all. The highest generator of votes is door to door face to face contact.

Rob
Rob

Was correctly predicting Rahm  really that tough? It sounded like the only obstacle to him getting elected was staying on the ballot.

As for our election, I'm not even 25% sure that he's right. I think money will have far more influence than FB on this one.

John_McKee
John_McKee

I'm not so sure, I friended Kunkle but I'm about 50/50 voting for him or Rawlings.

Gangy
Gangy

John, this is how I suggest you figure out which candidate.  If you liked Leppert's priorities and values for running the city, Rawlings will do similar stuff with more charm.  If you want a mayor whose priorities are based on quality of life for Dallas residents, vote for Kunkle. 

It's easy for me - KUNKLE!

Terrapin
Terrapin

If you want a better Dallas overall (small things and big things and people things). And not a suburb clone then I think Mike Rawlings might be better. 

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

Just because someone becomes a "fan" or clicks on "like"  it doesn't mean they will get off their ass and get out and vote.  If Facebook has proven anything it is that people are much more interested in being a "fan", "friend" or "like" then actually having to do anything.

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