Can social media predict the election?
We’re going to use Vocus social media searches to find out.
The Web as a political campaign tool has come a long way since pro-wrestler-turned-politician, Jesse “The Body” Ventura tapped volunteers at a Minnesota fair to compile an email list for galvanizing his supporters. He spent a mere $300,000 on his election, ran under the “Reform Party” and managed to pull off a narrow win in a three-way race.
The social web is easier to use, it moves faster, and as Pew Research Center’s Project in Excellence for Journalism wrote, “In theory, digital technology allows leaders to engage in a new level of “conversation” with voters, transforming campaigning into something more dynamic, more of a dialogue, than it was in the 20th century.”
Last week, we started monitoring the election with Vocus social media software. We’ve monitored a gigantic half-million tweets already. Here’s how the candidates are stacking up in terms of mentions on social networks, including Twitter:
Most of the social media mentions occur on Twitter: no surprise, given how fast the network moves and how easy it is to tweet from a phone. Last Tuesday, we saw Paul Ryan make a big social media impact with 55,000 mentions following his nomination as Republican vice-presidential candidate.
We’ll be following the race until the election, providing social media analysis on all aspects of the campaign. Check back every Monday for updated Social Race charts as we watch the headlines and the data with our eye on the big question: can social media predict #Election2012?
Photo credit: Flickr
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