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There's been a number of these noted, but I'm not sure this has been covered.

  1. There's a question with an existing answer with +23 votes, because hey, it was a good answer.
  2. Another answer comes in, and it's awesome. The answer checkmark gets moved to this answer.
  3. As soon as the new answer gets 11 votes, bam, original answer gets the badge.
  4. New answer gets even more votes and quickly outscores the old one.

Is the original answer really a "populist" answer?

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Which question are you referring? – Rob W Nov 30 '11 at 23:35
I guess this qualifies… – Some Helpful Commenter Dec 1 '11 at 0:05
@RobW — it doesn't matter. I'm not jealous. :) – mattdm Dec 1 '11 at 2:52
Just got a populist badge this way; it does seem a bit broken. I'm outscoring the new answer because mine is four years old – Michael Mrozek Sep 11 '14 at 17:59

In other words:

Only answers newer than the accepted answer should be eligible for the Populist badge.

I don't quite agree. Older answers can still be more popular with voters than the answer the OP accepted. And badges can't be revoked, or it least it would result in a ton of complaints if they could be, so I think it's best as-is although I agree with your reasoning.

share|improve this answer
In this case, the now accepted answer is more highly rated than than the older, badge winning one. (If the questioner would have been slower to change the check mark, the older question wouldn't have gotten the badge.) This might not be a big enough of a corner case to worry about, really, but I wanted to note it as more odd behavior for this badge. – mattdm Dec 1 '11 at 2:55
Thinking a bit... I don't think only newer answers should qualify for the badge. I think that the badge should only be awarded if a significant number of the + votes for the candidate answer came after the accepted answer existed. – mattdm Dec 1 '11 at 8:55
@mattdm I think if one answer gets highly upvoted, then another answer comes in and gets accepted by the op without being as-upvoted, then we should still recognize the first one with the badge since it's more popular with the masses. Unless we wait to see if the newer accepted answer gets more upvotes, we can never know whether the situation in your question (the new accepted answer surpassing the old one in votes) will happen. So I still think the current behavior is the only way we can do it unless we either revoke badges or delay them (wait to see if the new answer beats the old). – Matthew Read Dec 1 '11 at 18:03
I don't think a delay is necessary; just don't include votes older than the other answer in the calculation. – mattdm Dec 1 '11 at 19:54

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