If the polls are right, Joe Biden will defeat Donald Trump in a landslide victory. But there are reasons to wonder if the polls are right, as this article by Jeremy Kahn at Fortune points out:
An analysis of the emotions being expressed on social media indicates that the upcoming U.S. presidential election may be a much closer contest than many commentators and pollsters believe.
That’s the conclusion of Expert.ai, a company with offices in Modena, Italy, and Rockville, Md., that uses an A.I. technique called “sentiment analysis” to understand the emotions being expressed in social media posts.
The company’s analysis puts Democratic candidate Joseph Biden ahead of President Donald Trump, 50.2% to 47.3%, a margin that is much narrower than the double-digit lead that Biden has over Trump in most national opinion polls.
Based on these polls, many political analysts and commentators are expecting that Biden may win a historic landslide. But Expert.ai’s A.I.-based analysis indicates the race may be much tighter than these human experts are expecting.
Expert.ai’s political forecasting model was successful in predicting that the U.K. would vote to leave the European Union in 2016. And academic research has shown that similar social media sentiment analysis would have better predicted Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election than polling data.
Trump was the focus of far more social media activity than Biden, accounting for almost 60% of all the posts Expert.ai analyzed, compared to slightly less than 17% for Biden. But Biden ranked higher in terms of positive emotions such as “success” and “hope,” while Trump scored higher on negative emotions such as “fear” and “hatred.”
The only positive emotion on which Trump scores better than Biden, according to a statement from Expert.ai, is “action.”
I continue to have no idea who will win the election. As I’ve said I think the primaries are badly in need of a do-over and I wish that “Neither of the above is acceptable” were a legitimate response in voting. But I also think the present circumstances in which both sides may think they will win and the only way that could not happen is by the other side’s cheating presents dangers, especially when there’s ongoing political violence in so many places coupled with social media that makes it so easy to mobilize.