Want to be ahead of the curve for the Romney campaign’s vice presidential pick? Tired of speculating? Passing on the mobile app?
There might be another way to know Gov. Romney’s VP pick before the official announcement. TechPresident details one strategy, monitoring potential candidates’ Wikipedia and Facebook pages for updates, in their piece, “How to Spot Romney’s Vice Presidential Pick in Advance“.
According to the Washington Post, in 2008, profiles of Sarah Palin and Joe Biden both showed an unusual spike in activity and edits prior to Republican and Democratic campaign announcements. At the time, Palin was unusually obscure, yet activity on her Wikipedia page easily eclipsed Tim Pawlenty – also a contender for a vice presidential nod this cycle.
On August 28, Palin’s entry was updated at least 68 times, with at least an additional 54 changes made to her entry over the preceding five days. In contrast, Pawlenty’s entry received 54 alterations on the 28th, and just 12 changes during the prior five days.
The edits to Palin’s page also heavily overlapped with edits made to Sen. John McCain’s own page, a cyber intelligence expert told the Washington Post in 2008.
One would assume campaigns and organizers will be more careful this time around, but analyzing profile activity of current VP hopefuls could provide a slightly early look at the eventual nominee. TechPresident has a few graphs comparing views and activity of potential candidates. They say:
None of Wikipedia entries for the current candidates being bandied about by Romney-watchers — Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte or Pawlenty — are currently showing anything like the spike in edits that Cyveillance spotted on Palin and Biden’s pages back in 2008. But most of those came in the 24 hours prior to the official announcement.