Julian Assange is the winner in the popularity vote for Person of the Year 2010 but TIME is not obligated to choose him. The editors have the final say. The voting is only a way to make the public feel they have some input.

Julian Assange from the cover of TIME magazine Dec 13, 2010

Julian Assange portrayed by TIME this week as a gagged whistle-blowing spy.

Person – 2010 11/22/10 12/05/10 rate # growth 12/13/10 # growth rate
Julian Assange 73,159 172,598 2.36 99439 382,020 209,422 2.21
Glenn Beck 51,415 66,773 1.30 15358 91,746 24,973 1.37
David Cameron 8,810 13,861 1.57 5051 22,596 8,735 1.63
Chilean Miners 12,943 19,698 1.52 6755 29,124 9,426 1.48
Arne Duncan 6,346 9,404 1.48 3058 14,301 4,897 1.52
Recep Erdogan 156,068 194,437 1.25 38369 233,638 39,201 1.20
Jon Franzen 6,165 8,557 1.39 2392 12,135 3,578 1.42
Lady Gaga 102,647 127,641 1.24 24994 146,378 18,737 1.15
Robert Gates 6,787 9,357 1.38 2570 13,142 3,785 1.40
Tony Hayward 5,815 8,125 1.40 2310 11,600 3,475 1.43
Hu Jintao 5,879 8,452 1.44 2573 12,046 3,594 1.43
LeBron James 7,262 9,944 1.37 2682 13,580 3,636 1.37
Steve Jobs 14,309 18,553 1.30 4244 24,810 6,257 1.34
Hamid Karzai 4,335 6,091 1.41 1756 8,755 2,664 1.44
D & C Koch 4,786 6,564 1.37 1778 9,147 2,583 1.39
Liu Xiaobo 6,549 8,933 1.36 2384 12,962 4,029 1.45
Barack Obama 15,387 20,569 1.34 5182 27,478 6,909 1.34
Sarah Palin 16,143 22,170 1.37 6027 30,787 8,617 1.39
Nancy Pelosi 6,972 9,264 1.33 2292 12,214 2,950 1.32
Imam  Rauf 5,215 7,071 1.36 1856 9,493 2,422 1.34
Stewart-Colbert 54,022 64,958 1.20 10936 78,145 13,187 1.20
Unemployed 11,147 14,846 1.33 3699 19,605 4,759 1.32
J. Craig Venter 4,415 5,909 1.34 1494 8,073 2,164 1.37
Warren-S-Blair 3,937 5,356 1.36 1419 7,298 1,942 1.36
Zuckerberg 8,948 12,465 1.39 3517 18,353 5,888 1.47
Sums/Average 599,461 851,596 1.41 252135 1,249,426 397,830 1.41

Assange got far more votes cast this last week than anyone else and some 53% of the total. This is a higher percentage than most politicians get when they win a political office and they are only contesting a single candidate and perhaps a third party or write-in contender. But, this TIME contest had a field of twenty five candidates! The runner up only got 9% of the votes. Perhaps I don’t watch the news enough because I was barely aware of the name Erdogan before this polling started.

This chart was constructed only a few hours ago but even before it got posted a lot more votes had come in, especially for Erdogan. To me this is inexplicable except that he is being promoted by some major public source. The media comics Stewart and Colbert would quickly get an overwhelming number of votes it they asked their audience of millions to vote for them but so far they have restrained themselves for what ever reason.

My opinion is that the only person on the list who will still be famous in 500 years is Craig Venter, the creator of life, but he got only a half of one percent of the votes.

C’est la vie.