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.