With the media quietly waiting for the results of the Hawaii Democratic caucus late into the night of March 26, the entire country took notice when Alec Salisbury beat them to the punch from his dorm room at Ithaca College, projecting Bernie Sanders as the victor.
Along with a handful of strangers on Reddit, the sophomore cinema and photography major used social media to tabulate the results on a Google document. Their projection was accurate to within 1 percent of the final results. Delays in releasing the results from caucus sites gave Salisbury the opening to break the story. Soon, news media including USA Today were calling to speak with him.
Salisbury credits some of his classwork at IC – especially a web development course – with enabling his foray into election reporting, which he says will continue with the next round of caucuses.
“We’re building a website for tracking future caucuses,” said Salisbury. “The web development skills I’ve learned at IC have proven useful with both that and creating the result spreadsheets.”
Learn more about Salisbury’s wild primary night in this interview with The Ithacan.