Based on the trends of the voting so far, including in NH, SC and the Super-Tuesday states, I, along with others, believe that a strong case can be made that a rather clever kind of vote flipping took place throughout the democratic party primary states. While there were ups and downs, as Biden was first down then miraculously way up, a pattern has emerged that points to a well thought out scheme meant to artificially suppress the Sanders vote totals and his delegate count. Initially against Buttigieg and ultimately, against Biden, once the party bosses settled on pushing him front and center as the candidate of choice (at least for now). For lack of a better word, I call the new clever system Rigging 2.0. It involves a sophisticated form of introducing a multi-pronged pre-programmed vote counting bias, such that it’ll allay suspicion and throw everyone but a few hard core on-line sleuths off the scent.
Unlike in 2016.where the field consisted of just two main candidates, this time around, with multiple candidates to choose from, the vote flipping could be done without it being so blatant as to catch the attention of either the public or even the serious analysts, at least until it’s too late. The beauty of the scheme, as implemented in the Democratic early state primaries, the Super Tuesday states, and possibly some of the upcoming March 10 states, is that the bias could be inserted cleverly, using the most recent polls as a guide, then adjusted as needed, using raw Exit polls, on a state by state basis. That while taking into account candidates who dropped out, one by one, all endorsing Biden as the way out, just as it may have been planned all along.
The key elements of this system of “putting fingers on the scale” algorithm appear to be as follows:
- Use the latest polls available (preferably the day or evening before the vote) as baseline (internally the polls may be possibly augmented by whatever internal polling information may be available to modify or double check expectations). This is important, IMO, since these are the polls that are open to the public and can therefore be assumed to set expectations for the vote, however accurate or inaccurate they are.
- Devise a “bias” to be inserted into the incoming actual vote totals to skewed in such a way as to alter the gap between Sanders and whoever the front runner is (Buttigieg, then Biden), so that it shrinks if Sanders is ahead and grows if Sanders is behind. This will ensure that Sanders delegates count will always be suppressed, depriving him of any earned momentum. Note that this may be done on a precinct, county or state level.
- Avoid making the gap so large or be at such a variance with the most recent polls as to raise undue suspicions or to cause the injured party (both Sanders and Warren) to ask for a redress and/or recount.
- Instead of moving votes directly from/to Sanders, implement a “vote fleecing” algorithm that uses the 2nd and 3rd tier candidates to effectively **redistribute** the votes. For example, if, say, Bloomberg’s pre vote polls show him at a high percentage, move a fraction of incoming Bloomberg votes to Biden. Then use a fraction of lost Warren votes (as compared with the pre-vote polls – and she lost almost in every state), and rearrange them so they go in part to eg., Biden and in part to lower tier candidates. This will deflect any suspicion that would otherwise arise if it looked like a 1:1 flip.
- Whenever possible, avoid any direct vote flipping between Biden and Sanders so as to again, deflect suspicion, unless it is unavoidable (say when the field starts narrowing substantially and where untoward rise in eg. Buttigieg/Klobuchar votes might raise red flags). In other words, no more “Blackhawk County Effect” (cf. the Iowa caucus debacle).
- It is preferable to minimize the Sanders lost vote fraction, keeping his total close to what the day-before poll predicts. This will prevent his vocal supporters from raising a ruckus. Only if Sanders’ votes seem to come at much higher-than-anticipated levels (and they never did, in any state) is there a need to resort to “same day fleecing” of a fraction of his votes. If so, this is to be done by moving them to prop up some other candidate (who is never Warren!). This would require some on-the-ground real-time participation, so likely limited to just a few precincts that can be trusted to “cooperate”. This is what I think they have done for example in selected districts in eg Minnesota.
- Only in red states with larger number of black voters would Biden’s numbers be allowed to go much higher relative to the polls. This can always be attributed to a combination of black voter turn-out and disruptive voting by Republicans seeking to prop up a weak candidate (always Biden).
- Finally, and most significantly: Exit polls provided at closing need to be adjusted as soon as possible after a sufficient fraction of the votes come in, so the number allotted to the candidate come into close conformity with the actual vote count. It is thanks to Mr. Soares at TDMSresearch.com, who had the foresight to catch screen shots of the original (raw) exit polls (as soon as the polls closed), that we became aware of just how well this clever little trick worked.
Thus the randomizing of the vote adjustments scheme takes full advantage of a larger field of candidates at the start, as well as the “adjustment” of the exit polls to avoid a repeat of the 2016 debacle where the variance with exit polls was so large and so consistent (always in one direction) that the odds for that happening by chance was estimated to be vanishingly small . For as long as there are several viable candidates running, the variances with day-before polls can be made to appear random, while adjusting the raw exit polls to conform later. All of which ads up to a consistent picture of over-performance by Biden on Super-Tuesday states and under-performance by Sanders, with even the most irregular trends going under the radar (MA, MN and Vermont are good examples).
What put me on to this scheme were three rather distinct trends I noticed, all so consistent as to be unlikely to have occurred entirely by coincidence:
- Warren kept underperforming way too consistently. For one, she really wasn’t all that bad a candidate, doing reasonably well in the debates, For another she received considerable support from the same MSM outlets that were so negative towards Sanders. The media kept harping on the woman vote to such an extent that it seemed downright strange that Warren somehow never matched the expectations, sometimes falling short by a little but more often by a lot. Yet, at the same time, Sanders, the candidate closest to warren in policy advocacy, never seemed to gain from her losses. Neither did Amy seem to ever benefit from those woman candidate supporters who seem to have abandoned Warren in droves.
- Bloomberg is another candidate who nearly always performed well below expectations, rarely exceeding poll numbers and often coming short by a lot. That despite the hype and the enormous expenditures on commercial ads. Shifting votes from him to Biden, another centrist, could therefore look natural, as that is just what one would expect, especially after a less than stellar debate performances.
- On the same measure, before Bloomberg, there was a Steyer, whose role seemed to be limited to SC. There, it was HIS missing votes that went to Biden in whole or in part, a lackluster feat that seemed to be later duplicated .by Bloomberg.
The role of Pete and possibly Amy could have been as early back-up ‘spoilers”, taking votes away from e.g., Warren, even if Biden was “collateral damage” in the 2 early caucus and one primary states. The plan may have been all along to have them get out just in time to prop up Biden. I doubt either one of them was appraised of the scheme, if it was afoot all along. It is even possible that Pete was considered seriously as a contender at one point, but if so, after Nevada, a choice had to be made, and clearly it was Biden with Bloomberg and Steyer as the new “spoiler candidates”. Poor Amy never even rose to a level meriting serious consideration, so likely she was just used as one more cog in a wheel of elaborate deception leading up to and culminating in Super-Tuesday.
State by State Analysis
In an original analysis of the voting in NH, written for the subreddit r/WayoftheBern, I suggested, based on comparison of the votes to those projected from the poll the night before, that the lower than expected margin of victory for Sanders over Buttigieg could be explained by a combination of two factors: (1) disruptive voting by Republicans (especially in conservative rural districts, where Buttigieg mostly won) and (2) a possible 1-3% vote flipping which cut into Sanders’ margin of victory in the metropolitan and college town areas where he was strong (added as an edit later).
As this post argued, Sanders lost little compared to the recent poll (just over 1%), but the centrist block (Joe + Pete + Amy) gained over 7% , even factoring in a Biden loss of about 3%. That while Liz lost almost 3%, none of which seems to have gone to Sanders. It is possible that her votes may have been flipped to Amy or to paper over a larger loss incurred by Biden.
Soares’ analysis of final votes vs Exit polls paints a picture of reasonably close correspondence between them. However, as he mentions that:
“Edison Research has stated that they use the incoming computerized vote counts from the earlier closed polls, to alter the exit poll data prior to first publication”,
Meaning they adjusted the raw data to which we have no access.
Another original analysis – comparing the final vote tally against the latest available polls, showed Biden at 5% above the upper range of the expected outcome (even assuming a huge boost due to Clyburn endorsement) and Sanders 5% below the low bound of the projected vote. I suggested that this could again be explained through a combination of some disruptive voting (mostly boosting Biden over Sanders) + DNC “finger on the scale”, wherein Biden gains Buttiegieg, Steyer, Klobuchar and a fraction of Warren’s votes.
The Soares analysis http://tdmsresearch.com/2020/03/02/south-carolina-2020-democratic-party-primary/ pitting final votes against Exit polls (this time with raw data available) indicated further disparities, with a 3.7% gain by Biden, yet only 1.4% loss by Sanders. It is possible that the “adjusting algorithm” over-stepped its mark and flipped a little “extra” to Biden (from e.g., Klobuchar), narrowing the gap against the exit polls, as compared with the pre-vote polls.
Super Tuesday States
For these states I used primarily the day before polling projections from Data for Progress (DfP), taken over the period of 2/28 to 3/2. The last day would therefore already account for Buttigieg and Klobuchar withdrawing and endorsing Biden (though possibly with exception of however many early votes came in). In a couple of instances there was also an additional poll also covering that period, which I used as a benchmark indicator.
This is a very interesting case. It’s a state that Sanders won at 36.1% to Biden’s 23.6%, Bloomberg’s 20.5 and Warren’s 17.3%, with Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s votes shown as 0% each (!). As compared with the DfP projections, these represent an extra 5.6% for Biden, an increase of 4.1% for Sanders, 4.5% for Bloomberg and a decrease of 3.7% for Warren. The DfP poll had Buttigieg at 8% and Klobuchar at 4% so they seemed to lose all of their votes/ as in every single precinct (including apparently any early votes before they even withdrew). The reason for this, I was given to understand, is that in Colorado, if a candidate files paperwork indicating their withdrawal, they cannot receive any votes.
Is it possible the little algorithm-that-could slipped and assigned some extra votes to Sanders from these two hapless candidates, as this is the only state I have seen so far where Sanders actually increased his vote share. Ah, but not to worry, the tally in Colorado tally still stands at only 79.4% votes counted, last I looked, so it is possible they may yet rearrange some of these disappeared votes to make sure the overall margin of victory for Sanders “does not get out of hand”..
In MA, the differences from the DfP poll numbers were as follows: Biden: +7.6%, Sanders +0.7%, Bloomberg -3.2%,, Warren -6.6% and Buttigieg + Klobuchar + 1%. So while Sanders’ number stayed unchanged, Biden’s substantial increase means he must have received all of Bloomberg’s and about 2/3 of Warren’s losses. The remainder of the votes lost by Warren as compared with her poll numbers (in her home state!) obviously did not go to Sanders, but may have been allocated instead to 3rd tier candidates, who showed modest increases.
When it comes to the comparison with the exit polls per [per Soares’ analysis – see http://tdmsresearch.com/2020/03/04/massachusetts-2020-democratic-party-primary/ ), there was a gain of 4.7% for Biden and a larger loss for Sanders of -3.7%. That while Bloomberg seemed to gain 2.7% over the Exit polls but Warren losing 3.8%.
Again, it is possible that the pre-programmed “bias” was “adjusted” once the raw Exit poll numbers came in – which had Sanders winning (by 1.5%) to shave off some percentage points from Sanders and re-distribute them among Bloomberg, Warren and Biden, making sure that the end result shows Biden winning the state – despite most expectations.
The pattern in Minnesota is interesting as well. Originally, the DfP polling gave a clear win to Sanders at 32% over Biden at 27% with Warren at 21%, Bloomberg at 16% and Klobichar and Pete trailing at 2% and 0%, respectively. The final vote tally gave a whopping 11.6% gain to Biden, who won with 38.6% (!) of the vote over Sanders whose vote share decreased to 29.9%, with Warren and Bloomberg losing 5.6% and 7.7%, respectively. That, while Klobichar and Pete notched gains of 3.6 and 1% repectively.
My Hypothesis is that the bias introduced was such as to flip Bloomberg’s and most of Warren’s votes to Biden, while some of Sanders’ share was shifted to third tier Buttiegig and Klobuchar.
I am most eager to see Soares’ analysis of the votes against the raw exit polls he collected for this state. In particular, there were likely irregularities in counties such as Hennipen which are known to be highly progressive, and would be expected to be solidly behind Sanders. These may be the places where precinct level “adjustments” may have been made.
Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia
Similar comparisons carried out for these states indicated a familiar pattern, namely:
- Biden gaining considerable number of votes, enough for a substantial win
- Sanders losing votes but never by much – just up to a few percentage points relative to the polls. Sometimes, his final vote is even strangely close to the DfP poll number,
- Bloomberg and Warren losing enough points between them to more than provide for Biden’s gain
- Pete, Amy and Tulsi gaining or losing just enough to make up the difference, as needed.
I don’t yet have the results from the raw exit polls for these states but the comparison should be an interesting one.
The differences of the final vote vs the DfP poll are as follows: Sanders winning, but with -6.3% relative to the poll. Biden, at 22% is +5%. Bloomberg gaining a little – around 1.4%, but Warren, as everywhere else losing votes at – 3.4% compared to her poll number. Buttigieg and Klobuchar between the two of them at +2.7% over the poll. I am again inclined to believe that Sanders’ lost margin went to the lower tier Pete and Amy, while warren’s lost votes would go to Biden accounting for his unexpected again.
The comparison against the raw exit polls is now available . It also shows a large discrepancy for Sanders (down by 6.3%) and Biden (up by 5%). Soares believes Biden’s number was adjusted upward as he was in danger of falling below 15%. I find it interesting how closely the raw exit polls were to the DfP projections, with the exception of Warren , for whom the exit poll No. was very close to the actual vote. Is it possible they ‘forgot’ to implement the rigging algorithm in this state and had to resort to “real time adjustments”?
So far, it is clear that the same methodology must have been used in this state as in the above 6 states. Namely Biden’s numbers were padded up just enough to overtake Sanders decisively, using the “lost” votes from Warren and Bloomberg (-3.6% and -5.6%, respectively) to pad Biden’s vote totals (up by 4.5%), while leaving Sanders’ total almost unchanged (up by just 2%).
The comparison against the Exit polls is also now available at http://tdmsresearch.com/2020/03/07/texas-2020-democratic-party-primary/ . Again, since the Exit polls were ‘adjusted” after the first polls closed an hour earlier than the rest of the state, the correlation with the actual votes is relatively close. However, the Exit polls still indicate a tie between Biden and Sanders at 34% each (oops!), while the final vote showed a 34.5 to 30% split in favor of Biden. Obviously the algorithm worked well, except it couldn’t quite mask those pesky Exit polls, even after the first adjustment. My own guess is that Sanders’ numbers came in stronger than expected in some districts/precincts, so a more “blunt” real time instrument had to be used to assure a definite Sanders loss.
For the record this ‘adjustment” for sanders from a win to a loss cost him a considerable number of delegates. At least 10 would be moved from the Biden to the sanders column, had the results been fairly tabulated.
the counting in this states, like in some of the other states Sanders won (Utah and Colorado) has not been completed yet, with just 95% of the votes in and millions of ballots still out. So far, based on the available results, my count of the difference between the DfP poll and available final votes show both Biden and Sanders gaining a little +1.6 and 1.9% , respectively while Bloomberg and Warren lose -3.6 and -3.0% respectively. The pattern remains therefore similar to what was seen in other states except that so far, Biden did not gain as large a percentage as in other states. It is possible, IMO, that Bernie’s win was so decisive that the algorithm could not handle the margins without arousing substantial suspicions. Also it is possible there were fewer cooperative precincts in California, just as was the case in Vermont.
A decisive win for Bernie is also suggested by the analysis against the Exit polls, now uploaded . To quote:
According to the exit poll Sanders won big in CA (by 15%). The unobservable computer counts cut his lead by half (to 7.3%). In the total delegate count to date, substituting the estimated California and Texas exit poll delegate apportionments for the apportionments derived from the computer counts, results in candidate Sanders currently leading candidate Biden by 42 delegates instead of trailing by 45. The possibility exists that massive voter suppression is currently occurring during the extended unfinished count of California ballots.
I believe, based on the pattern we see across nearly ALL the states that a vote flipping has occurred, which was designed quite carefully to allay suspicions by distributing votes across all the candidates available, not just the two front runners. The patterns observed with Biden ALWAYS gaining, Sanders nearly ALWAYS either losing or gaining very little (effectively coming in very close to what the DfP poll indicates), Warren and Bloomberg also ALWAYS losing isjust too consistent to be due to pure chance (and yes, someone could try to compute the statistical chance for all this happening across this many states, but that takes more time than I had available, and in any event a cursory evaluation indicates the probability for all that happening by chance is extremely low). So, even if we were to believe that somehow Biden became overnight a winner, having hardly campaigned in any super Tuesday states and giving at best a mediocre performance at the debates, it would still be difficult to understand why Sanders would stay so steadily close to his pre-vote poll numbers while both Warren and Bloomberg would so consistently lose, the latter despite vast sums of money squandered around.
It is noteworthy that all these states are all quite different from each other, with some much more progressive than others. Even if we were to accept that the entire black population of the Southern states were swayed by one Cliburn endorsement and/or residual loyalty to Obama, this does not explain the same pattern persisting in states like MA and MN, which have seen substantial support for Sanders and his progressive agenda. Neither do the last minute endorsements by Buttigieg and Klobuchar explain the lower margin of victory in eg. Vermont and Colorado, or for that matter, the peculiarities seen in the latter, where these two candidates, unlike others who also dropped out, had the foresight to file the paperwork just in time. As in that evening.
There are unfortunately implications for upcoming states of coming up on March 10, including Michigan, Missour, Washington and Mississippi. Only now are polls being released showing generally Biden with a substantial lead. That with the race having become effectively a two person race with nearly all the MSM channels clamoring for Biden and using every available moment to criticize the candidacy of the one individual, Bernie, who generated enthusiasm among the people. If necessary, surely there will be more opportunities for vote “adjustments” though likely those will now have to be done in real time, to hedge against “surprise” Sanders resurgence, given the Biden lead.
It is my belief, shared by many election watchers and vote counters, that the Party went all out with their Rigging2.0 scheme to capture the Super Tuesday states and create unbeatable “momentum” for Biden. As a result, we may well see a repeat of the 2016 scenario in e.g., Mississippi, with a blow out win for Biden there, while Michigan and Missouri may be lost this time with upward of 15% with nary a complaint. I hope I am wrong, and that Sanders can still recover much of the lost ground, but the numbers I went through provide too obvious a road map for how to subvert the Democratic process in ways clever enough to pull the wool over much of the public’s eyes.
Personally, I don’t even believe Biden will be the ultimate candidate, as he may well be replaced sometime just before the convention with a “healthier” and “younger” individual. From a party that engaged in outright deception to suppress the legitimate votes of the people and keep its favored establishment in charge, we can expect no less. The rest of us, the hapless electorate, can only wait with baited breath for what rabbit they’ll pull out of the sleeve next. Yet, this is how the democratic process dies. And this is how a party can lose the trust and support of the very people it seeks to motivate.