The Republican ticket for the Presidential race has 10% more social mentions than the Democratic ticket according to Vocus social media data analyzed since August 15th. Real world polling, however, as shown by Real Clear Politics indicates a statistical dead heat. So what does this 10% margin mean?
We used the Vocus PR Suite to find out, analyzing 1.5 million posts from the last week on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and more, all of them related to either the presidential or vice presidential candidates.
Social media mindshare: who’s ahead in the race?
A noticeable trend in the chart above indicates that mentions of Paul Ryan have dropped substantially from a peak of 42,000 social mentions on 8/17 to just 13,000 on 8/26. This seems logical as the news allure of the Republican vice presidential pick fades.
Over the last week, in aggregate, the Republican ticket had 10% more mentions (904,000) in social media than the Democratic ticket (809,000). However, when just the Presidential candidates are compared, the President commands the most mindshare by a 10% margin. This might reflect the advantage of incumbency.
Meanwhile, two interesting points in this data suggest that Romney has absorbed the social buzz of his VP pick.
The Romney campaign is able to maintain nearly the same volume of social mentions despite having vastly fewer followers than the President. However, analysis with social tools indicates that upwards of 77% of the President’s 18 million Twitter followers are either fake or inactive, while 51% of Romney’s 800,000 Twitter followers are fake or inactive.
Second, Ryan’s presence on the Romney ticket contributes significantly to social media mentions. He earns nearly 50% more mentions than his democratic counterpart, Vice President Biden.
Influential Tweeters: who’s making a splash in the social race?
What the President clearly has is ‘retweetability’. In just 12 days, the President has earned 9,500 retweets, which suggests his posts are sharable by a highly engaged base. Romney ranks fourth on the retweet chart with 4,700 retweets. Both candidates have avid and influential supporters that rank in second and third place.
Comedian Bill Maher is a tremendous advocate for the President, while Donald Trump is firmly in Romney’s corner. Interestingly, both adovcates have gone after the Vice Presidential candidates, with Maher attacking Ryan while Trump takes shots at the Vice President.
Social media trend: a negative election?
A recent study by Pew Research suggests, “Coverage of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, especially on cable TV and leading news websites, is increasingly driven by the campaigns themselves, resulting in one of the most negative elections this country has seen in decades.”
Applying Vocus’ tone analysis to these 1.5 million posts (our software uses natural language processing, or NLP), suggests there are indeed more negative mentions than positive mentions by a margin of about 5%.
On Wednesday, we’ll drill down into some of the most talked-about campaign issues: taxes, budget and healthcare.
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