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Texas Primary Election Forecast

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Texas Primary Election Forecast 2014

The 2014 Texas primary is scheduled to occur on March 4.  Below are the It Scores for each congressional, gubernatorial, and senate race.

The It Score is a measure of a digital influence that correlates with election results (GigaOM).  The It Score was used in the 2012 election to correctly predict the outcomes of every major federal race with 92% accuracy.  If a candidate has a higher It Score relative to their opponent then they will likely win on March 4.

Scores for candidates running against each other are calculated on a relative basis.  Methodology for its calculation is contained at this end of this article.

Texas Gubernatorial Primary Election Forecast

Democratic Party Gubernatorial Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Wendy Davis 95
Ray Madrigal 5

Wendy Davis will likely be the clear winner on March 4 (no surprise).  Ray Madrigal severely lacks a digital presence.  In the future he would do well investing in at least obtaining a Facebook, and Twitter account.   (Scores calculated Feb 19, 2014)

Republican Party Gubernatorial Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Greg Abbott 78
Lisa Fritsch 10
Miriam Martinez 8
Larry Kilgore 4

Greg Abbott will probably be the clear winner on March 4 in the Republican camp.  Lisa Fritsch would do well in future elections to invest in a Wikipedia page.  Doing so will increase her visibility when voters perform a Google search.   (Scores calculated Feb 19, 2014)

Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Candidates Match Up According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Kathie Glass 48
Robert Bell 39
Robert Garrett 6
Robert Locke 6

All of the Libertarian candidates are severely lacking in their digital influence relative to their mainstream counterparts, however, the other libertarian candidates stand in Kathie Glass‘s shadow.  If Kathie  should invest in bolstering up her Twitter account.   (Scores calculated Feb 19, 2014)

It Score match up between likely candidates running for governor of Texas:

Candidate It Score
Wendy Davis 50
Greg Abbott 36
Kathie Glass 10
Brandon Parmer 5

Wendy Davis is destroying Greg Abbott online…across the board.  Davis is getting a lot of buzz from the media.  She is even doing a good job stealing the lime light away from Abbott.  Abbott’s following on literally every social network is minuscule compared to Davis’s following.

Davis is really only lacking in fundraising, and she could also work on building more local followers as opposed to national ones.  She is also doing a poor job with Google ad placement.  I’ve seen several ads for Davis pop up while browsing the web, and I’m certainly not a voter in the state of Texas.

So what does this mean for the race?  Right now Abbott supposedly has a 11 point lead over Davis with 17% of registered voters being undecided.  In the 2012 election the It Score proved to be correct over conventional polling in certain races though.

85% of U.S. adults are using the internet.  73% of them are using a social network of some kind.  Davis is owning this territory.  Abbott would do well stepping up his game.  Worst case scenario he wins the election, and has a huge base of followers online in which he can communicate his policy decisions to.

November is a long way off…it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Texas Senate Primary Election Forecast

Democratic Party Senate Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
David Alameel 40
Maxey Scherr 37
Mike Fjetland 12
Kesha Rogers 7
Harry Kim 4

According to the It Score, David Alameel will likely win the primary on March 4.  He would do well to invest in a Wikipedia page.  Doing so will improve his visibility when voters search for him on Google.  Alameel is also exhibiting a relatively weak Twitter presence, and should work to improve his following before the general election.   (Scores calculated Feb 19, 2014)

Independent Party Senate Candidates Match Up According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
David Smith 51
Avery Ayers 49

Both of these candidates are extremely weak online, however, David Smith has a slight edge over Avery Ayers.  Smith needs to create a Twitter account.  Ayers doesn’t even have a Facebook Fan Page, but he does have a Twitter account with one follower.  (Scores calculated Feb 19, 2014)

Libertarian Party Senate Candidates Match Up According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Jon Roland 64
Rebecca Paddock 33
Tanuja Paruchuri 3

All three of these candidates have a weak digital presence relative to their democratic, and republican counterparts.

Jon Roland is the only one generating any buzz with the media (very small amount mind you), but he doesn’t even have a Facebook Fan Page.

All of these candidates are going to have to spend a considerable time bolstering up their digital presence if they want to be competitive in the general election. (Scores calculated Feb 19, 2014)

Republican Party Senate Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
John Cornyn 42
Steve Stockman 31
Linda Vega 6
Reid Reasor 5
Dwayne Stovall 5
Chris Mapp 5
Ken Cope 4
Curt Cleaver 2

According to the It Score…John Cornyn will be the likely nominee for the republican party.  Cornyn has a fairly strong digital presence.  His most notable network is Facebook where he boasts more than 254,000 fans.

Steve Stockman is the closest competitor to Cornyn, and has done a decent job with his digital presence (especially when it comes to getting attention from the press).

Anyone considering challenging Cornyn in a future election should spend at least a year building up their networks before tossing their hat in the race.  (Scores calculated Feb 19, 2014)

It Score match up between likely candidates running for senator of Texas:

Candidate It Score
John Cornyn 58
David Alameel 23
Jon Roland 8
Emily Snachez 5
David Smith 5

John Cornyn is dominating the senate race online.

If David Alameel wants to compete then he should look to increase his presence on Twitter.  He should also work to get more buzz from mainstream media.  He is severely lacking in these areas relative to Cornyn.  (Scores calculated Feb 19, 2014)

Congressional District 2 Primary Election Forecast

Libertarian Party Congressional District 2 Candidates Match Up According to the It Score:

Craig Cleveland is going up against James Veasaw in district 2, but both of these candidates have virtually no digital presence.

Cleveland does have a Facebook Fan Page with 66 likes, but that’s it.  The press isn’t mentioning them, and both of the candidates don’t even have a Twitter account.  Few people are talking about them online.

Due to the lack of data surrounding this race it’s difficult to project an It Score that would contain any validity.  Cleveland has a slight digital edge due to having a Facebook Fan Page.  (Scores calculated Feb 20, 2014)

Congressional District 3 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 3 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Sam Johnson 74
Josh Loveless 10
Cami Dean 8
Harry Pierce 7

Sam Johnson will likely be the clear winner on March 4.  Johnson doesn’t have a particularly strong digital presence, but none of his competitors seemed to put up enough effort to surpass him.

One area his competitor’s are particularity weak is on Twitter.  For example, Cami Dean had the strongest presence on Twitter behind Johnson, but she only has 7 Twitter followers.

Candidates should consider investing more time in utilizing Twitter…especially when it comes to getting more earned media. (Scores calculated Feb 20, 2014)

Congressional District 4 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 4 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
John Ratcliffe 28
Tony Arterburn 19
Ralph Hall 19
Lou Gigliotti 17
Brent Lawson 11
John Stacy 8

Surprisingly…John Ratcliffe has a higher It Score relative to Ralph Hall (current incumbent).  The It Score is indicating that Ratcliffe will likely win, or that this race will go into a run-off.

One interesting thing to note is that Ralph Hall’s government website, and his campaign website both link to the same Twitter account.  This may be illegal because public funds are not suppose to be used in campaign efforts.

If Ratcliffe wins then he should invest in his Twitter presence.  Doing so will greatly improve his It Score.  He should also consider getting a Wikipedia page to help create more exposure in search engines.  (Scores calculated Feb 20, 2014)

Congressional District 6 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 6 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Joe Barton 83
Frank Kuchar 17

Joe Barton has the highest It Score in this primary race.  Barton outperforms Frank Kuchar across the board successfully generating a lot of buzz on social networks, and in the media.

Kuchar should look to getting a Wikipedia page if he considers running in the future. (Scores calculated Feb 20, 2014)

Congressional District 7 Primary Election Forecast

Democratic Party Congressional District 7 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
James Cargas 77
Lisa Squiers 23

James Cargas outperforms Lisa Squiers across the board.  Cargas even has a Wikipedia page.

One area Cargas is weak on is on Twitter.  If he hopes to defeat incumbent John Culberson in the general election then he should look to enhancing his presence on Twitter.  (Scores calculated Feb 20, 2014)

Congressional District 8 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 8 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Kevin Brady 74
Craig McMichael 26

Kevin Brady has a considerably higher It Score relative Craig McMichael, and will likely win the republican nomination on March 4.  McMichael most notably under performs on Twitter relative to his incumbent opponent. (Scores calculated Feb 20, 2014)

Congressional District 11 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 11 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Mike Conaway 88
Wade Brown 12

Wade Brown‘s digital influence is dwarfed relative to Mike Conaway‘s online presence.  One area Brown is really failing in is obtaining earned media.  Conaway’s domination of the press relative to Brown is one of the reasons his It Score is so much higher.  (Scores calculated Feb 20, 2014)

Congressional District 12 Primary Election Forecast

Libertarian Party Congressional District 12 Candidates Match Up According to the It Score:

Ed Colliver and Matt Solodow are competing are the two libertarian candidates competing in district 12, however, both candidates have relatively no digital presence save Colliver’s weak Facebook Fan Page (82 likes total).  Due to the lack of data in this match up it is difficult to calculate a concrete score, but Colliver has the edge due to his Facebook Fan Page.

If these candidates want to have a shot on actually winning then they’ll need to seriously consider investing in actually creating and maintaining social media accounts. (Scores calculated Feb 20, 2014)

Congressional District 13 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 13 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Mac Thornberry 66
Elaine Hays 21
Pam Barlow 13

Incumbent Mac Thornberry will likely win the nomination on March 4.

Elaine Hays puts up the biggest fight against Thornberry, and even outperformed him on Twitter.

Thornberry should invest in a stronger Twitter presence if he hopes to prevent a challenger from defeating him on this social network in the future. (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 14 Primary Election Forecast

Democratic Party Congressional District 14 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Don Brown 42
Gagan Panjhazari 30
Buck Willis 28

Don Brown has the highest It Score, and will likely win the democratic nomination.    There is a lack of data in this race due to relatively little press covering these candidates.  Whoever ends up winning the nomination will need to focus on getting more earned media.

If Brown wins he will seriously need to pick up his social media game if he wants to have a chance at beating Randy Weber in the general election. (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 15 Primary Election Forecast

Libertarian Party Congressional District 15 Candidates Match Up According to the It Score:

Ross Lynn Leone, Johnny Partain, and Lewis Alexander are competing in this district.  Due to a severe lack in data it is difficult to generate a score for these candidates.

Leone is getting more buzz in mainstream media relative to his opponents, but he lacks a presence on every major social network.  He should look to create a Facebook, and Twitter account at the very least.

Johnny Partain actually has a Facebook Fan Page (523 likes), but he lacks a Twitter account….and isn’t getting much press.  He does a fairly good job on Facebook.  He should look to leverage Twitter to get more attention from the press.

Partain will likely win, but again…there is insufficient data in this race. (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Republican Party Congressional District 15 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Eddie Zamora 73
Doug Carlile 27

Eddie Zamora has a higher It Score relative to Doug Carlile indicating that he will likely win the republican nomination on March 4.

Zamora will need to spend time improving his presence on Twitter, and getting more attention from the press if he hopes to stand a chance against sitting incumbent Ruben Hinojosa. (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 17 Primary Election Forecast

Libertarian Party Congressional District 17 Candidates Match Up According to the It Score:

Bill Oliver, and Shawn Hamilton are the two libertarian candidates competing in this district.  Both candidates have zero presence on all of the major social networks, and very little attention from the press.

Whoever wins the nomination should at least invest in creating a minimal presence on Facebook and Twitter.  Just creating a presence will at least help them with search engine optimization.  (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 19 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 19 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Randy Neugebauer 65
Chris Winn 22
Donald May 14

Randy Neugebauer will likely win the republican nomination on March 4.

Chris Winn put up the best digital fight against Neugebauer, but Winn only invested in a Facebook presence.  With no campaign funds this is probably the least effective network to invest in as a candidate considering that it’s nearly impossible to get considerable reach on Facebook unless you’re willing to pay for it.

Donald May was at least able to raise some funds, but his money didn’t translate into much of a digital presence.  He was able, however, to get more buzz from the press relative to Winn. (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 21 Primary Election Forecast

Libertarian Party Congressional District 21 Texas Candidates Match Up According to the It Score:

This libertarian primary mimics the unimpressive district 17 congressional race.  David Cunningham, Mark Loewe, and Ryan Shields are competing…but they have virtually zero buzz online.  Cunningham and Loewe have a little buzz from the press, but that’s it.

These candidates should invest in a social networking presence if they want to be taken seriously. (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Republican Party Congressional District 21 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Lamar Smith 45
Matt McCall 35
Michael Smith 21

Lamar Smith‘s higher It Score indicates that he will likely win the republican nomination on March 4.

Matt McCall made a notable effort in this race, but Lamar Smith’s online presence is a force to be reckoned with.

If McCall opts to challenge Lamar Smith again he will need to start building his online presence sooner than he did in this election cycle.

Michael Smith didn’t have much of an online presence, but he did garner some buzz from the press. (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 22 Primary Election Forecast

Democratic Party Congressional District 21 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Mark Gibson and Frank Briscoe will face off on March 4 for the democratic party nomination in congressional district 22.  Both of these candidates have virtually zero online influence.

Because of the lack of data…it is difficult to generate a score for these individuals.  Mark Gibson did generate a little bit of press though. (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 23 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 23 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Will Hurd 50
Robert Lowry 28
Quico Canseco 22

All three candidates performed at nearly the same level on Facebook.  Will Hurd outperformed both Robert Lowry, and Quico Canseco on Twitter…however none of these candidates did an exceptional job on Twitter (a lot of room for improvement).

Hurd will likely win the nomination (as indicated by his It Score).

If Hurd wins the nomination he should look towards improving his presence on Twitter.  Pete Gallego (current democratic incumbent) has a strong Twitter presence.  Hurd will need to work hard to oust Gallego on Twitter, but it’s possible.  (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 25 Primary Election Forecast

Democratic Party Congressional District 25 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Marco Montoya 56
Stuart Gourd 44

Marco Montoya has a slightly higher It Score relative to Stuart Gourd indicating that he will likely win the democratic nomination for district 25.

Both candidates had a poor showing on Twitter.  If Montoya wins the nomination he will need to spend some time improving his presence on Twitter if he hopes to defeat Roger Williams in the general election.  Montoya will also need to work on getting more exposure from the media.  (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 26 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 26 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Michael Burgess 74
Joel Krause 19
Divenchy Watrous 7

Michael Burgess will likely win the republican nomination on March 4 (according to the It Score).

Burgess outperformed his opponents across the board online.  Joel Krause performed especially poorly on Twitter relative to Burgess.

Future candidates planning on challenging Burgess will need to spend a considerable amount of time building their social networks before throwing their names in the hat. (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 30 Primary Election Forecast

Democratic Party Congressional District 30 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Eddie Bernice Johnson 81
Barbara Mallory Caraway 19

Eddie Bernice Johnson outperforms Barbara Mallory Caraway across the board when it comes to digital influence.  Johnson will likely secure the democratic nomination on March 4.

Future challengers to Johnson will need to spend a lot of time building up their networks prior to entering the race if they want to stand a chance.

Caraway performed especially poorly on Facebook and Twitter relative to her opponent.  (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 32 Primary Election Forecast

Republican Party Congressional District 32 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Pete Sessions 71
Katrina Pierson 29

Pete Sessions will likely win the republican nomination on March 4.  Katrina Pierson put forth a noble effort though.  Most notably she surpassed Sessions on Facebook and Twitter…though Sessions does have more local support online relative to Pierson.

Pierson could improve her digital presence by obtaining a Wikipedia page.  She could also work to obtain more attention from the press in future elections.  (Scores calculated Feb 21, 2014)

Congressional District 33 Primary Election Forecast

Democratic Party Congressional District 33 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Marc Veasey 79
Tom Sanchez 21

Marc Veasey will likely win the democratic nomination on March 4.

Though Tom Sanchez raised a considerable amount of money….he failed to spend it in a meaningful way to really build up his digital influence.  He has a meager Facebook presence, and no Twitter account.  He also did poorly generating chatter with the press. (Scores calculated Feb 24, 2014)

Congressional District 34 Primary Election Forecast

Libertarian Party Congressional District 34 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

There isn’t enough data to generate an It Score for Doug Purl, and Ryan Rowley.  Both of these candidates should consider getting a Facebook Fan Page, and a Twitter account at the very least. (Scores calculated Feb 24, 2014)

Congressional District 36 Primary Election Forecast

Libertarian Party Congressional District 36 Texas Candidates Match Up According to the It Score:

Robb Rourke and Rodney Veach are competing in this race, however, due to the lack of data it is difficult to generate a score for these individuals.  Both have a slight Facebook presence, and Rourke has a little media buzz. (Scores calculated Feb 24, 2014)

Republican Party Congressional District 36 Texas Primary Election Forecast According to the It Score:

Candidate It Score
Ben Streusand 16
Brian Babin 14
Chuck Meyer 14
Doug Centilli 12
John Manlove 9
Dave Norman 9
Pat Kasprzak 8
Kim Morrell 6
Phil Fitzgerald 4
John Amdur 4
Robin Riley 4
Jim Engstrand 2

This race looks like it is going to be close.  The top three candidates are Ben Streusand, Brian Babin, and Chuck Meyer (according to the It Score).

Streusand has a slight edge, but the numbers are close enough that any of the top 3 candidates could take it (with Streusand being the most likely).

Doug Centilli and John Manlove did a decent job on Facebook, but they lacked much of a Twitter presence.  Centilli didn’t have a Twitter account.

Meyer had the strongest Twitter account, and was also able to generate a lot of local buzz.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out on March 4. (Scores calculated Feb 24, 2014)

Methodology

The It Score is a machine learning algorithm that gathers chatter surrounding a political candidate from social, and traditional media sources in order to provide a gauge of their digital influence.  It accounts for tone, how people are reacting to a politician, the buzz surrounding the candidate, and what people are saying about the politician.

Whatever candidate has the highest It Score will likely win in the election.

The machine learning algorithm was trained off of actual primary election results.  The original algorithm was predicting at 67% accuracy, but overtime it learned.  Currently it is predicting at 92% accuracy.

PoliticIt’s hope is to refine this algorithm so that political candidates can use it to receive real-time feedback on campaign performance.

(Update: article was changed.  Previous version provided a primary forecast for libertarian, and independent candidates.  New version has altered titles to include “match up” instead of “primary”.  Text discussing the libertarian and independent races has been changed to reflect a match up rather than a primary.  In the state of Texas libertarians, and independents do not participate in the primary system.  The Libertarian Party of Texas is a convention party.)

(Photo Credit: Flickr via Ray Bodden)

 

Josh Light

Josh Light

Josh Light was CEO and Co-Founder of PoliticIt.
Josh Light

@joshuajlight

I enjoy tweeting about startups, and economics.
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7 comments

  1. John D. Johnson

    Very nice summary. I was surprised that in a direct matchup Davis has a higher digital influence than Abbott as of today. I wonder if she has had help from the Obama team or techniques that allowed him to micro-target voters in Florida. She has certainly expanded her digital footprint.

    • Josh Light
      Author

      Thanks John. I was also very surprised. She has a lot of national buzz. It will be interesting to see if she can harness it to raise more funds, and drive people to the voting booth on election day. We’ll be watching this race carefully.

  2. John D. Johnson

    Looks like the Republicans need to up their game on the social media front. They were dumbfounded with the Florida and Ohio losses in the Romney race. She seems to be using the Obama playbook as far as social media is concerned..

  3. Sterling Morris

    I’m interested to see the results of the congressional district 4 race. Good catch on Ralph’s potential use of a non-campaign Twitter handle for his campaign.

  4. Your analysis of Steve Stockman is a off because you have not read the content of the news coverage. Stockman ran because polls conducted by the conservative magazine Human Events and the well respected Public Policy Polling showed Texans wanted someone less like Sen. John Cornyn and more like Sen. Ted Cruz. Stockman thought he could pass himself off as that person. But he has serious issues with this campaign finances, didn’t show up to campaign events he scheduled and couldn’t be bothered to tell votes he wouldn’t show up. Last Thursday, 12 Texas tea party groups publicly disavowed him.

    • Josh Light
      Author

      Christopher,

      Very interesting information. Thanks for the comment, and feedback Christopher.

  5. Pingback: Texas Primary Election Results Versus ForecastPoliticIt