Obama by a Landslide

November 4th, 2008 by Rob Brown

As soon as the polls start to close this evening the world will hear tha Obama has won the popular vote in the US presidential election and will take the electoral college with a landslide victory.  PR Media Blog is ‘calling’ the vote at 14.42 GMT well ahead of polls closing.

Since the 1990s the media have had the ability to accurately predict the popular vote which has meant that we don’t have to wait for the votes to be counted to know the outcome.  But in the last two presidential run offs, the vote has been close and in 2000 the votes were so close that it was days before the supreme court ruling resulted in the Bush victory over Al Gore.

This year the margin of victory will be significant and we can be fairly certain because the social web has provided ordinary people with the tools to predict the outcome.   Take the site Iftheworldcouldvote.  On the surface it is a bit of fun allowing anyone around the world to cast a vote and showing how different countries would cast their ballots.  One of the coutries is the USA and in effect this is a poll that shows Obama gaining almost 80% of the vote.  OK the poll is biased towards the web literate and in theory voters could post multiple ballots, but this is a sample size of over a quarter of a million and the margin is enormous.    

If we are to believe conventional media there are enough swing states and undecided voters to keep the race open but this is simply not the case.  Newspapers, radio and TV want to keep us guessing, because that is what will deliver circulation and audience but the social web is telling us the America has decided and Obama will be the 44th president of the United States.  

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

9 Responses to “Obama by a Landslide”


  1. Stephen Waddington Says:

    I think you’re spot on and I’ve made the same call. My only concern is the international focus of user generated media. It’s exceeds far beyond the US and could therefore be very skewed. Let’s hope not eh?


  2. Rob Brown Says:

    The iftheworldcounts site identifies where you are from via IP so it is safe to assume that the USA votes are genuine. Even if the margin of error is huge this and other web sites are predicting a much bigger Obama win than the traditional media outlets.


  3. Gabe Boning Says:

    That’s a bit of a nonrandom poll.

    It’s not a sample, it’s just self-nominated: whoever wants to take it, takes it. Since it’s fairly agreeable Obama has done more online campaigning, it’s safe to say that there’s a bias of people who have taken that poll.

    In fact, no poll is truly accurate: randomness is extremely hard to obtain.

    Basically, nobody knows who’s gonna win.


  4. Paul.IO » How Conventional Media Helps Itself Out Says:

    […] pr-media-blog.co.uk » Blog Archive » Obama by a Landslide. […]


  5. Mik Barton Says:

    Interesting.

    My thoughts earlier were about the ‘conventional’ media’s potential impact by announcing results before the voting is closed.
    http://blogs.birminghampost.net/business/2008/11/the-power-of-the-media-brand-r.html

    I suppose that because social media is true citizen journalism it is less prone to manipulation by a few and providing a barometer of public opinion actually produces a nation of better-informed voters.


  6. Mark Hanson Says:

    did you hear about the Mexico newspaper that publishes in the US? It only publishes twice a month so its had an Obama victory on its front page since the middle of last week!


  7. ThereseJDanielsson Says:

    Not even a week after the president election the blond topblogger from Sweden, Linda Ekholm speaks out loud about Obama!
    And I really believe this is truly written by heart. Scary!

    http://www.finest.se/userBlog/?uid=30701&beid=1040511


  8. Dennis Says:

    great article.
    Thanks for sharing this.


  9. Positive Invoice Finance Says:

    It’s not a sample, it’s just self-nominated: whoever wants to take it, takes it. Since it’s fairly agreeable Obama has done more online campaigning, it’s safe to say that there’s a bias of people who have taken that pol

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