Watching the US Presidential election online
Earlier this week we looked at the new socially integrated apps both candidates had launched on The Wall, and from now on we will be regularly covering the online developments in the campaign.
Twitter have launched the Twitter Political Index. The data will monitor the sentiment of conversation around the two Presidential candidates, and be compared to traditional polling data.
USA Today are also contributing to the project, running tweets and the index on their website. The information is updated into Twitter’s political index every evening. Last night President was down -4 on 34, with Romney gaining two points on 25.In the UK Twitter is regularly full of political conversation, but there is a perception that it is a bit of an echo chamber. In America, the conversation is also strong around key events. For example on Super Tuesday twitter conversations peeked as results came in, particularly around Rick Santorum:
The same is likely to be true when the parties hold their conventions, particularly if someone actually tries to challenge Mitt Romney still. However, unlikely that might be.
Trending topics also centre around politics in the US, with #Conservativefastfood” trending yesterday.
On followers, there is one clear winner – the President has over 10 million while Romney has only 21k. The same is true on Facebook, where the President has 27,599,837 fans of his page, and Romney has 3,210,899. Indeed the Romney campaign only gained 300,000th followers yesterday, posting a graphic to celebrate and thank followers. Indeed, Rick Santorum is still only 100,000 behind despite being long out the Presidential race.
Both Obama and Romney make use of tabs within the pages to attract deeper interaction, for example it is possible to give donations and buy campaign branded clothing. Romney also encourages members to upload their photos of them showing support for the Republican candidate.
Google+ is still lagging behind in political interaction. Both Presidential candidates have profiles on the site, indeed Barack Obama has various pages too. The candidates though have significantly less followers in the network (not surprising given the lowers uptake generally,) and so update them less regularly.
Google fares batter on videos though, and these are going to be key. As I mentioned on the Wall yesterday, Obama continues to break records with his use of video. Romney though does has over 12,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. which has had videos viewed on it more that 15 million times.
With digital sentiment across the board helping to track the progress candidates are making with the electorate, and more and more people engaging with candidates online, social media is going to be critical to monitor from now until November.