Donald Trump is a very popular guy. So popular, he may not be able to attend this month's Republican National Convention in Tampa, he tells The New York Times' Jeremy Peters. “I’m a very popular guy, as crazy as it might sound. It’s nice to be loved.” As he happily explained, the GOP convention conflicts with another event: The Republican Party in Sarasota honoring him with its "Statesman of the Year" award. But if that weren't evidence enough of his soaring popularity, his assistant told the Times another crucial metric:
(As quantitative proof of his popularity, Mr. Trump’s spokeswoman called immediately after the interview to note that he has 1.4 million Twitter followers, a number that she said is growing by about 40,000 a week.)
Wow! Could it be true? According to microblogging analytics site Twitter Counter, Trump is indeed hot stuff on Twitter.
But not as hot as he says he is.
For starters, we'll allow his assistant's rounding error: Trump has 1,368,951 followers, not 1.4 million. But Trump accumulating 40,000 followers per week? Well:
- According to Twitter Counter, Trump added 12,000 followers last week.
- The week previous he added roughly another 12,000.
- The week before that he added 13,000.
How this adds up to 40,000 followers per week is beyond the mathematical capabilities of The Atlantic Wire. To give him some benefit of the doubt, one could take the longer view.
Between June 9 and July 9, Trump added 56,000 followers. Between July 9 and August 9, he added 52,000 followers. For one month's worth of tweeting, that's plenty of followers, but it doesn't come close to adding 40,000 followers per week.
To achieve those heights, the Donald will need to blame even more of society's ills on China and Obama:
He might want to start with his own personal scheduler, or even more, by simply showing up to that convention he planned on skipping.