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« The Coward In Chief - On Trump skipping the debate, some history, some relevance; both now and into the general election | Main | My Forecast on Republican Race One Day Before First State Votes: Trump Wins Nomination, Clinches on June 7, Gets 53% of Delegates, Cruz second, Rubio third »

January 29, 2016


Stephen Reed

(repost) I watched only the Trump event and missed the Fox News Debate. I did watch the Fox and CNN analysis afterwards and visited Drudge to vote. The current vote count on the straw (non-scientific) online poll is 214,004.

Trump 53.42%,

Cruz 22.17%,

Rubio 8.85%,

Paul with 8.65%

All others below 2%

If this online poll remains stable, then one of my above pre-debate predictions has been realized, namely that Donald Trump wins the post-debate online straw polls.

The Trump event was much less showmanship than I expected from a charity event. It was arranged much like a stump speech event and his remarks were mostly from his stump talking points. The audience was raucous and enthusiastic, especially when protesters were being ejected. However the amount of money transferred, in front of the crowd, to Trump's charity foundation was amazing. Trump himself gave $1 million, and introduced another $1 million donor.

I agree that the current Iowa poll average is a good benchmark to look at. But I would look closely at the highly reputed Des Moines Register Poll due to be released this weekend. The previous two results from this poll showed a down trend for Cruz and an up trend for Trump. If these trends continue, I would conclude that Trump's debate gambit succeeded regardless of the caucus night result. Microsoft's Iowa election model gives Trump 40%.


The After-Debate betting odds for who will become the next PotUS:
(paddypower, oddshark, HILL, sportsbet)

Hillary Clinton: 5/6 | EVEN | 8/11 | 1.83
Donald Trump: 3/1 | +200 | 3/1 | 4.00
Marco Rubio: 11/2 | +1000 | 6/1 | 6.50
Bernie Sanders: 7/1 | +350 | 6/1 | 8.00
Ted Cruz: 20/1 | +1400 | 20/1 | 21.00

Not much changed. Marginal redistribution of odds, probably due to Cruz and the lower ranges being considered even less likely to win.

Wayne Borean

Missed the debate, so my comments are on the reports....

Trump appears to have taken little or no damage so far. We'll see if I'm right when they start adding up Iowa.

We are far enough in that the debates are having less impact on the front runners.

Out of the candidates:

Trump - solid lead
Cruz - deep trouble due to his personality
Rubio - appears to be gaining, possibly due to Cruz
Bush - if it wasn't for the early donations he'd already be toast
Kasich - dead, just doesn't know it yet
Carson - down to solid supporters, his support is not likely to change a lot until he drops out
Christie - also a beneficiary of Cruz

We can forget the under card, the support level that they've got is so low that if all of them dropped out, and their support went to one candidate at the adult table, it wouldn't have much impact.

The problem is that everyone at the adult table is too stubborn to drop out. That leaves a relatively small number of voters to divvy up. But even if they don't have a hope of winning, there's still the chance of getting the VP slot...


@Wayne, the recent polls in Iowa show Rubio gaining, mostly at the expense of Cruz. Rubio would spin a third place as a win, particularly if he can hold off the others and finish second in New Hampshire. If that happens, expect LOTS of pressure on Bush, Kasich, and Christie to drop out so that it becomes a three-way race between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio. That's the Establishment's best shot to avoid the Trump/Cruz mess they got themselves into.

As for the Democrats, Team Clinton will be working to suppress voter turnout. Bernie Sanders himself has said that he wins if turnout is high, and loses if turnout is low or average. Clinton is already bringing up unfounded claims that Obama bused in students from out of state, warning Sanders not to do the same (technically, it's legal in Iowa for students to vote in the districts where their schools are provided they don't vote in their home states).

With the caucuses, it's difficult to really gauge from polls, though. It really does depend on who shows up for two hours of meetings, and in the case of Democrats, is willing to admit in front of everyone else who they are voting for. Plus, since they aren't voting for the national delegates, just local delegates, who vote for state delegates, who vote for the national delegates, who "wins" Iowa won't be known for months. Also, assuming that O'Malley doesn't make it to 15% in the vast majority of precincts, his supporters will be able to "re-caucus" with either Clinton or Sanders. He's only polling about 4% in Iowa, but that could be enough to tilt the initial results to one side or the other.

The GOP doesn't have the same delegate rules, and the preference poll (usually by "secret" paper ballots) is just a "beauty contest," but since Iowa is so small, the whole thing is mostly symbolic.

Wayne Borean


There's already lots of pressure on Kasich, Bush, and Christie to retire. But there's no reason for them to retire, as long as they've got enough money to continue.

After all, all it takes is one front runner to make a mistake, and they've got a chance to pick up enough extra votes to become competitive again.

What would make things exciting is if one or more of the front runners had to drop out for health reasons. That would really get them fired up!


Come on, Tomi. More and more announcements about the death of Windows Phone, and you are devoting time to the Republican freak show?


So preliminary ratings are in and somewhere between 11-13 million tuned into last night's debate. That compares to 24 million for the first Fox News debate, 18 million for the CNN debate, and 11 million for the Fox Business debate (which is not included on most standard cable TV packages). I'm guessing with Trump it would have been closer to the CNN total.

Stephen Reed

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host, just told his listeners that Fox News obtained 8 million viewers However, Limbaugh guessed that Fox News would have had 45 million viewers if instead Trump had joined the debate.

If true, then the potential lost revenue deeply hurts Fox with regard to future advertising revenues from Republican debates. Trump is obviously ahead in the war of wills between him and Fox News.


@SDS Exactly! The only reason for Tomi's silence is that it takes time to write a *YUUUGE* article about the good news so we can celebrate it properly.


Mother Nature may win this for the crook in chief who had 22 classified emails on her server.


@Catriona Why is she a crook? Because she stored classified information on her server? You can't call her a crook for that, she was negligent but not a crook. Crook is Teddy for failing to report the Goldman Sachs loan.
Anyway, she is not perfect but compared to the alternatives (Donald and Teddy) she looks very good, unless of course you hate her, which is a completely different matter.

Tomi T Ahonen

To all in the thread

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert did a brilliant piece of a fake debate of Trump vs Trump moderated by Stephen. Very funny (and far too short, I hope - and expect - him to return to this theme many more times). So enjoy the video - but remember, this same idea will be used in attack ads by Hillary in the Autumn and it will be devastating (if Trump ends up being the nominee)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen


Thanks for the comment. I will be dealing with the Windows Phone and Lumia crash at some point when I next talk about mobile. But its no longer news (to us on this blog) that Windows Phone is dead. After Lumia line fell out of the Top 10, I have given it about the same type of coverage as I did to Palm, HTC, Blackberry and Sony(Ericsson). The news came out that Microsoft managed to push 4.5 million Lumia smartphones to unsuspecting victims - sorry - customers in Q4 which puts the ex-Nokia Lumia Microsoft smartphone business at 1.1% market share. For the full year 2015 Windows Phone had about 2% market share down from 3% in 2014 and it will be down to less than 1% in 2016. I have told you readers, we've seen this movie before, we know how it ends. Microsoft has already said they are only doing one more Lumia device this year, the strategy was changed last year to no longer compete either globally nor in all market segments nor on all carriers. So this is a dead platform already. Its not news (for us) but yes, it is still shocking news to those who really aren't that into mobile...

Now this clown show with Trump is a part of the 2016 US Presidental election cycle - and I told you readers in October of 2014 when I saw the signs, that this will be a historic election (for Hillary Clinton) and that because it will be exceptional (not because she is a woman, but exceptional in that her landslide victory will be bigger than that of Obama's or Reagan's first elections) - that is why I will be monitoring that race. This is a once-in-a-lifetime political event that we will remember for decades to come - similar to how within the tech space, Nokia's sudden collapse was a once-in-a-lifetime event in tech history. I will be talking about the relevant developments in the US Presidential race not because I want to turn this blog into a political blog but because it is a historic event, that deserves the attention. Compared to 2012, Obama's re-election, I only did a few blogs about that election, it was not a historic rare moment.

I appreciate your frustration but please SDS, you know as well as I know that there is no life left in Windows Phone / Windows 10 Mobile / Lumia and that mobile unit which is the remnants of Nokia, will be shut down this year or next year. Its dead. So there is no story there. I will include the mention of those numbers in my next smartphone-related blog when developments happen in smartphones.. but the nice thing with the blog is, you can skip the articles you don't like :-)

Now with that, I will return to comments to the rest of you, about the US Presidential race

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Stephen

Good points. Now on the online polling. That is not indicative at all of how Trump does or doesn’t do. Its a measure of who has the best online supporter base and Trump obviously ‘trumps’ all others being an international media figure, the others being only domestic USA political figures. Trump has led every online, Twitter & Facebook ‘polling’ after each debate. The real result can only be seen in polls taken just before the debate and the polls taken immediately after the debate. My debate analysis of each of the previous 6 debates has been relatively close to - but by no means perfect - to how the actual debate results were perceived (ie corresponding to the polling).

On Trump’s event (I still haven’t seen it, but I will go see videos of it today) that Trump treated it like a stump speech does not surprise me, and is pretty rotten political behavior most vet organizations should deplore. Trump had hijacked veterans to do a political event and ran his campaign speech. The money raised was 6 million dollars so what, maybe a dollar per vet. Six million sounds big until we put it in context that Trump alone has given hundreds of thousands to DEMOCRATIC candidates over the years. And Trump’s one million dollar contribution is just his conscience talking, and not very loudly.

There was reporting by I think the National Review that about half of Trump’s audience were voters/supporters and half were there for the show (and often clearly supporters of other candidates). As a political junkie, I hope this turns out to be a total disaster for Trump’s votes in Iowa, so that nobody ever tries this again. If some rich guy can hijack the political discussion, run away from a debate and hide behind veterans, and buy his own publicity - and succeed - then the political system and voters have lost out. But I have to give credit to Trump, at least ‘lets support veterans’ is a clever gimmick as his alternative to debating. It doesn’t hide the fact that Trump ran away. Like the Monty Python song in Holy Grail about the ‘bravest’ Knight of the Round Table, Sir Robin: Sir Robin ran away / Bravely ran away-away / When danger reared its ugly head / Sir Robin turned his tail and fled / Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin /

Of Des Moines Register poll, yeah its known as the gold standard in political polling not just for Iowa but of any statewide polling. They know their stuff and the attention that Iowa always gets being the first to vote. I am eagerly awaiting to see its count. BTW this year the ‘analysis’ needed for polling is the most difficult its ever been. The number of candidates is the broadest and Iowa is prone to surprise success (like Santorm climbing out of nearly nowhere to get the most votes in 2012). The front-runner on Republican side (Trump) and challenger on Democratic side (Bernie) are outsiders appealing to non-traditional and non-regular voters. So turnout is a huge factor in their success. But turnout in caucus states is not the same thing as turnout to a political event or indeed turnout at a primary voting state. To generate caucus turnout requires massive ground game operation like Santorum and Obama in 2012. Like Bernie has but seems like Trump does not.

So the turnout model for the poll is a huge factor in who does how. Note, that the Independents would need to pick whether to go caucus in Trump’s or Bernie’s race. So in this race there is a particular confusing factor where two of the four strongest candidates both appeal to outside support (Cruz and Hillary are both appealing to base voters who are consistent loyal Iowa caucus voters and know the system).

I’m pretty sure the turnout will be up and can be record turnout - BUT I don’t think Trump is poised to capitalize on that surge. Bernie is, as is Cruz as is Hillary. And the last and unexpected factor is now the debate boycott by Trump, which could truly scramble the pack. TV coverage like Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show doing that parody debate of Trump vs Trump, will highlight issues that trouble those who are on the fence on Trump - and it doesn’t help Trump when TV shows run clips where Trump asks how stupid are Iowans. Trump’s loyal supporters loved this debate boycott (most of them, not all, some do listen to those voices on the conservative wing who urged Trump to come to debate like Bill O’Reilly). But some of Trump’s loyal voters are the loonies off the reservation who don’t participate in the elections for the reason of them being so rigged. Those are part of the most happy part who applaud his stunt. Those who support Trump for bringing change, will be alarmed that this is how Trump then behaves, runs away, doesn’t actually dare to show up when the game is on the line. Those will be spoiled for choice based on a very smart debate where all but Carson shined and several managed to give a better image of themselves than they had in the past.

So this will be the most demanding test any pollsters including Des Moines Register will have to do. Days from the election, this poll should be the nearly perfect accuracy and its one with exceptionally high variability factors. Take the last debate. Cruz was hit hard from several sides. If you have an honestly undecided voter who feels Trump’s stunt disqualifies him, and was leaning towards Cruz but the debate rules him now out - suddenly there may be an unusually high number of voters ‘searching’ only days, hours before the voting. This could be a surprising outcome for Marco Rubio, or for Chris Christie, or - gosh - Jeb Bush. Rubio could theoretically even win it (most likely then that Trump is a very close second and Cruz a close third). Or say Cruz wins, Trump is second, but Christie or Jeb or Kasich (but only one of those three) surges to third, and Rubio is fourth. And Rand Paul had his best showing, he could be the surprise third place finisher. I do think this is the most difficult-to-predict election for pollsters and like I said, the turnout model is most significant. On the Democratic side it seems to be a slight advantage Hillary with maybe a 52-48-4 type of finish among the three.

Now the polls so close to the voting will be lost the moment the votes are counted. So Trump’s gambit ‘success’ or failure will be determined when the votes are counted Monday night. If he wins, even if his polling collapsed to 22% but he squeaks out a win with that with Cruz at 21%, Rubio at 20%, others in the 15% and below.. then Trump’s gamble succeeded and future debates will always face the spectre of this tactic. If Trump’s vote is up compared to his polling ie he finishes with 34% but Cruz edges him and wins with 35% then this gambit will be deemed the dumbest move in politics since McCain picked Sarah Palin.

BTW I think you had a typo but I am curious what you meant when you said ‘Microsoft’ election model gives Trump 40% haha.. I wonder what you intended, as I have never heard of a polling model by Microsoft... :-)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter, Wayne

Winter - thanks for the update on the betting. Yeah, I agree that this debate did not really change the dynamics between the rivals not change the overall race. If Trump does get damaged by his stunt, that will only impact his finish in Iowa which is almost certain to be no worse than second. So this is 'noise' in the big picture for voters. The RESULTS out of Iowa can shuffle the deck truly madly deeply (do). I am expecting some backmarker to have a surprising rise and for some midfielder to witness something like a 'collapse'. And Rubio could claim front-runner status among the 'establishment lane' if he has a strong Iowa finish. So the betting is likely to change quite a lot after Monday.

Wayne - I take it you were looking it at the overall national race, not looking at Iowa. On the national race, I'd say yeah, picture is somewhat as you saw it. Trump nationally has a solid lead regardless of any flutter in whatever poll might come out. His first real test is the voting in Iowa. Trump has been running a campaign of the silent majority, to bring in new voters. Its first test is now and if Trump ends up not winning Iowa, after he was leading it by 6.5 points four days before the election - then his premise that he can bring in new voters is severely dented. And if he doesn't win in Iowa, his image that he 'always wins' is also tarnished. Not enough to cost him his lead, but offering a real opening for one or two of the strongest rivals from the pack (likely Rubio and Cruz).

On 'Cruz deep trouble' - I don't agree with 'deep' but I'll agree with trouble. The Canadian birtherism hurt Cruz definitely and now he's feeling heat from many sides. It does not help Cruz that he's alienated just about all powerful people in the Republican party, so he can't count on any friends to rush to help him - gosh, Cruz doesn't have any friends. I wonder why his wife married him, they cannot be friends either. I wonder if his kids hate their dad as much as the world hates him haha.

But Cruz is a very smart politician, very well organized and funded, running a disciplined campaign and I see him as a Top 3 finisher for the nomination fight meaning if he is lucky, he's the nominee, if he's unlucky, he's off the ticket and if he has mediocre luck, he finishes as VP this time and the front-runner for the nominee in 2020.

On Jeb, its a pity you missed the debate. Jeb I think has JUST BARELY grabbed a toehold of survival. He did a decent job in the debate (gosh Jeb is under ENORMOUS pressure for the next debate as New Hampshire is do-or-die for him, and the narrative is that Jeb did well in this debate BECAUSE Trump was not needling him). Because there is all that cash and the Bush family organization, I think Jeb survives. He'll never win the nomination but he could hang around as others quit, and gradually climb to a fourth-place finish. Again, I can't imagine Jeb continuing after losing Florida to Rubio, but gosh, Trump is likely to WIN Florida so then who cares. But Jeb just might run the whole race and finish in tiny numbers - BUT get onto the ticket (obviously not with Rubio) so in a contested nomination fight, it could be say Cruz and Rubio on one side, with Trump and Jeb on the opposite side, trying to get random Rand Paul etc delegates to put one side over the other. Haha and both contested sides would have a pairing of candidates who hate each other...

Kasich, not really dead yet but obviously the moderate tier cannot sustain Jeb, Christie, Kasich, Fiorina (with a conservative Rubio also fighting inside their lane). Kasich is the most boring of that group but he's fighting for a good position in New Hampshire and that state gets to pick who is viable and who is not, in the moderate camp, similarly to how Iowa makes that choice between Cruz/Huckabee/Santorum haha

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Catriona

Good analysis on Iowa, agree with just about all of it. On Rubio, note how smartly he is deflecting now to not let expectations rise. I read between the lines that Rubio camp is hoping for upset success possible second place in Iowa, but yes, even if Marco finishes third in the severely conservative Iowa, he'll spin that as a win and should get a boost going into NH. Its conceivable that Trump suffers 'punishment-voting' and that Cruz has stalled in his support, for many undecideds to flock to Rubio, he could theoretically win Iowa which would be a massive upset. I do expect Rubio in the Top 3 and think that Trump will just lose out to Cruz. But it also means, the three could all be within say 5 points of each other, almost a three-way-tie.

The moderate race is for NH where the weak ones will be weeded out (or should be). Its a very tight race for second place there and Cruz is in that mix because of the number of candidates, its quite possible if Cruz wins Iowa, he will bring a popularity bump to Iowa and finish second there. But after NH yes, the moderate side will pressure the weakest ones to quit, to let the strongest (very likely Rubio) to take on Trump and Cruz, both of whom are seen by the moderates as deadly to the whole Republican party for November.

On caucuses vs polls, yes very true and again.. I have this little noise in the back of my head saying 'Rand'... I know you don't like him as a pretend-Libertian, but I am sensing that at least part of the Ron Paul machine is behind Rand in Iowa. He could finish fourth and then suddenly his campaign would have life again.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Wayne Borean

Closer and closer...

Oh man, are things going to be really exciting! Iowa will set the nation on fire.

But who will win? Too bad we don't have Doc Brown's Delorean!

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi all

I didn't know Reuters had its 'polling extractor' tool (very clever) which lets you apply filters to their 5-day tracking poll. Its not about Iowa, its a national poll. But.. it allows us to see what was change right after the debate and also the result out of the previous day ie when Trump said he's not participating.

So. What happened? I think Trump's rush to say he's participating in the next debate is partly due to this kind of data. The poll on his day he announced collapsed 7 points. In a 5 day moving average. He went from 41% to 34%. That means Trump's support had collapsed from 41% to 6% in one day (lost 6 out of 7 of his support) to do a drop from 41% to 34% in a 5-day poll !!! Truly massive and dumb move indeed. Now, what about his veteran's event? That has (unfortunately for me, hoping Trump will be immensely spanked by this blunder) now restored half of the points lost, in the next 2 days.

Then who GAINED ? Most others were relatively flat, one point up or so but one candidate stole big support on that day - Dr Ben Carson... (yeah, Trump voters are dumb as a bag of hammers, how can this be?).

Then on what happened after the debate - the next day's results? Clear big drop to Cruz (bad sign for him trying to beat a slumping Trump) and modest upward ticks to Rubio (as expected) and ... Dr Carson !!! (weird) but bigger gain to Trump (this is part of the above analysis of Trump's collapse and quick partial recovery). So as the debaters were not hammering Trump, and as all ganged up on beating Cruz - Cruz goes down and Trump comes up (Cruz supporters have big overlap with Trump).

This tool became my instant favorite internet thing of all time haha... Now we can have a kind of instant thermometer on whats going on and how individual events can impact the election. Gosh I love the internet... here's the link for you all,PARTY_ID_:2/dates/20160101-20160129/type/day

Enjoy !!!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

millard filmore

@Wayne >>> Too bad we don't have Doc Brown's Delorean! <<<

For those of you who have always wanted a Time Machine ...


@Cornelius, actually, storing classified material on a personal server IS a crime. Whether the DOJ chooses to prosecute it is another matter.

@Tomi, the Iowa Republican electorate doesn't watch Stephen Colbert. For that matter, neither are most people. His ratings are down from Letterman's.

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