Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Facebook and Twitter Primary in Iowa




FB 
Followers
FB Engaged
FB Eng Rate
Twitter 
Following
RCP Avg IOWA
Bernie Sanders
19135
22212
1.16
4272
45.3%
Hillary Clinton
16661
5918
0.36
21742
45.5%
Martin O'Malley




5.0%

I received a lot of comments on my post on the Twitter and Facebook primaries and the national polls.  One of them said I did not consider grass roots organizing and other factors which may be affecting the candidates poll numbers.  To address this, I looked at the state Facebook and Twitter accounts in Iowa for the different campaigns as of Wednesday.  

Above is the table for the remaining democratic candidates Iowa Facebook pages.  I found pages for Clinton and Sanders but not one for O'Malley.  As with the national pages, Sanders has a larger Facebook following with an engagement that is larger than the # of followers (hence an engagement rate of 1.16) and Clinton (@HillaryforIA) has a larger Twitter following, According to twitteraudit.com, 74% of her followers are real and Sanders Twitter account (@Iowa4Bernie) has 97% real followers.  With only 2 data points it is not reasonable to compute correlation coefficients.  With both candidates tied in the RCP poll average, no strong correlation would be found.



FB Followers
FB Engaged
FB Eng Rate
Twitter 
Following
RCP Avg IOWA
Donald Trump
4126
1661
0.40
3708
26.2%
Ted Cruz
1321
480
0.36

26.7%
Marco Rubio
256
21
0.08
2273
13.0%
Ben Carson
865
245
0.28

9.0%
Jeb Bush



105
4.5%
Rand Paul
4669
789
0.17
295
4.0%
Chris Christie
2



3.8%
Mike 
Huckabee


1198
2.5%
John Kasich
71



2.2%
Carly Fiorina
26



1.8%
Rick Santorum
57



1.2%

A search of GOP candidates did not turn up a lot of Twitter accounts or Facebook pages for Iowa.  Trump has more followers on Facebook than Ted Cruz (Rand Paul has the most) and the most engaged followers on Facebook in Iowa.  Trump (@theTrumpTrain) also has the Twitter following followed by Marco Rubio (@teamMarcoIowa).  As they are in the polls, Cruz and Trump are closest in terms of the rate of engagement on their Iowa Facebook pages.  As with the Democrats, there is no clear pattern for either social media site and their RCP averages.  The lower tier candidates, including past winners Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum all have low followings on Facebook or Twitter.  It is not a misprint, Chris Christie really did have 2 followers on his Iowa Facebook page.

Reasons for this could be that some campaigns prefer to channel their message through one page.  The message can become distorted when relayed through intermediaries.  The primaried and caucuses occur state by state anyway.  It's easy for individuals to set up accounts for their favorite candidate but to attract a large following of real persons, the campaigns have to pay those sites to attract followers.  

Here in Utah, the page Utah for Bernie Sanders has 5,406 followers and 2,906 engaged for an engagement rate of 0.54. Hillary Clinton's page, I'm Voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016, has 1,225 followers with 26 engaged for an engagement rate of 0.02. 

Outside influences can  influence a candidates' support in a given state.  For example Bernie Sanders just received the endorsement of MoveOn.org and The Nation magazine.  The entrance polls (like exit polls in caucus states), can shed light on what factors were on the caucus goers minds. 


**Related Posts** 

Santorum's "Bounce"

 

Twitter and Facebook Primary Democratic Update: Engagement Matters Most

 

2016 Facebook Presidential Primary Update: Engagement and Gain 

 

Progressive Soul Searching in Wisconsin, PA, & other Red Gov. States