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Big Data & the US Vote: Did Trump Change Their Mind?

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Two summers before the 2016 US Presidential election, I was sitting around a bonfire in the wilds of Kenya, lingering in the peace that comes from spending the day amongst the extraordinary wildlife of safari (that’s ordinary for Africa). An intimate gathering of around 15 guests from all continents, the conversation was friendly and centered on the day’s site seeing. Eventually, though it meandered into the typical conversationalist vernacular: who you are, where are you from and what do you do.

There was an extended pause as we all gazed into the fire, reminiscing on elephants, lions, and miles of wildebeest trekking the Mara. I was dreamily wondering about the potential of the universe when an unexpected verbal volley shot across the flames.

“So what do you think about Donald Trump becoming President?”  Like a grandmother’s awkward question about a pregnant member at the holiday family dinner table, heads turned, and all eyes rolled toward to me, the sole American representative.

I wish I could say I easily conjured an interesting and insightful and perhaps even clever reply to demonstrate my thorough comprehension of American politics but honestly the thought in my mind a year before primaries was “… Donald Trump is running for …

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