TheBlaze last week addressed the major role social media plays in our nation’s politics. Whether it’s Twitter or Facebook, political news more often than not breaks first on social media platforms, leaving major media outlets to play catch-up.
So if social media circulation can make or break a story, meaning the people get to decide what’s important, then let’s take look at Twitter to get a sense of where this election is headed.
Lucky for us, the Twitter team has a mountain of fascinating trend data.
“As of 2 pm EST, we have been seeing average election-related Tweet volume of about 13,000 Tweets per minute (TPM) over the last several hours — nearly matching the peak moments of the 2012 State of the Union Address and Republican National Convention,” the Twitter team said in a statement.
“There have been in total about 6.4 million Tweets since the polls opened in Dixville Notch, NH at midnight,” the statement adds.
What kind of Tweets were tracked?
“Nearly 3,000 Tweets per minute reference ‘I voted,’ ‘#ivoted,’ or similar terms, with the highest number of Tweets among swing states coming from Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan,” the statement notes.
“Across the 12 USA Today and Gallup-defined ‘swing states,’ nearly 76% of Tweets containing these terms plus a candidate name reference President Obama,” the report adds.
Mostly mentions of President Obama, huh? Is this trend indicative of the electorates’ mood? That is, can we predict who will be the next president of the United States based on the volume of mentions?
Not necessarily. There are other data points that need to be considered. For instance, what were the specific issues addressed?
“Domestic policy issues dominate issue-based Tweets nationally, with the top five issue-based conversations focused on: The Economy (32%), Foreign Policy (17%), Taxes (14%), Energy & the Environment (9%), and Education (7%),” according to the statement.
“Taxes emerged as the top-tweeted issue in most swing states, except for Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, where Foreign Policy was referenced in the majority of issue-related Tweets,” the report adds.
Team Obama has received the most mention by names, a full 41 percent compared to the Romney campaigns’ 23 percent.
“Nearly 10% of Tweets mention both campaigns, while 23 percent of election-related Tweets mention none of the candidates or their wives,” the report adds. “Obama was also the most talked-about in each of the swing states.”
Although the president is more talked about in swing states, let’s look at this next chart. As you can see, when it come to swing states and the economy, only one candidate clearly and unequivocally dominates the issue. Can you guess who that is?
“[I]n Tweets discussing economic issues only … [there’s] a distinct shift towards Romney in several key states after weeks of the candidates being rated more equally among economy Tweets than on mentions overall,” the statement notes.
Final Thought: First, as the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza pointed yesterday while lecturing Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), what voters really care about are jobs and the economy.
Second, the fact that swing state Twitter users overwhelmingly associate the Republican presidential candidate with the economy more than the president may hold far more implications than simply being mentioned a lot.
Lastly, do we even need to point out that these charts only account for Twitter users? Obviously, not everyone uses the social platform. But for those who do, well, apparently they think “Romney” when they think economy.
Although it’s fun to speculate on the data, we just going to have to wait and see what the entire country thinks.
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
Front page photo courtesy the AP. This story has been updated.