Obama vs. Romney: A Social Slugfest
The 2012 US Presidential Election is overheating with quite a lot of negative rhetoric and personal attacks coming from both camps, infecting many social media fans and followers.
Our CheerMeter has been following the candidates through both conventions and has even waded through the latest mudslinging. We’ve also carried out a complete analysis of the action on both Facebook and Twitter, summarized in this infographic: http://www.socialbakers.com/elections
Barack Obama dominates both social media channels, due to the fact that he’s been involved with them much longer than his contender, having successfully pioneered social media in the previous election cycle and continuing to take full advantage during his current term. Romney, on the other hand, has much higher growth rates, as he has a lot of catching up to do.
Barack Obama had 19 928 502 Twitter followers as of September 19, having grown 5 082 536 since May 1st this year, which is almost ten times Romney’s following. Mitt Romney has 1 146 383 and only grown his following by 664 911 over the same period. The final days of their respective party conventions represented the largest follower growth for both candidates.
Obama is usually ahead of Romney in the Twittersphere because he tweets much more frequently (14.4 times a day on average!) and happens to be the President. Between May 1 and September 20, Barack Obama tweeted 2 044 times, garnering him 2 281 927 re-tweets while Mitt Romney tweeted only 242 times during the same period with 292 069 re-tweets, for an average of 1.7 tweets per day. From our graph tracking the daily buzz, you can clearly see the bounce Obama received during the Democratic National Convention earlier this month. The Twitter buzz peaked out at 1 352 207 mentions on September 6th – the last day of the convention.
Romney’s bounce during the RNC in late August was not as marked. He peaked on August 30 with 867 538 Twitter mentions, also on the last day of his convention. He did, however, get more mentions recently due to a scandal regarding comments he made during a private $50 000 per plate fundraiser. His mentions hit an all time high of 927 025 on September 17 – most of them negative. His Facebook fan base did, however, see a noticeable bump from the convention, but growth has since returned to previous levels.
Obama’s most popular tweet: “Same-sex couples should be able to get married. —President Obama” from May 9, was re-tweeted 61 639 times with 818 replies. Romney’s most popular tweet: “I am proud to announce @PaulRyanVP as my VP. Stand with us today. http://t.co/0lH4WbTW #RomneyRyan2012” on August 11 was re-tweeted 11 375 times with 1878 replies and landed him 23 097 new followers that day – by far his greatest single day growth during the campaign.
Obama’s most oft-tweeted word is, perhaps unsurprisingly, “President”, whereas Romney tweets “@BarackObama” most often, jibing and jabbing at the President’s Twitter feed. Obama has asked specifically that his tweets be re-tweeted 60 times since the beginning of May and Romney 8. Romney’s tweets are, on average, slightly more viral than Obama’s, but the President has, by far, the highest number of re-tweets and replies, owning all top 10 most popular tweets during our data period.
Only the President has mentioned Iraq and Afghanistan through Twitter (three times each), but neither candidate has mentioned Libya, Syria, or Iran since May. Romney tweeted about Israel once, criticizing Obama for not having visited there yet this term.
On Facebook, Mitt Romney has a total of 7 123 368 fans and has posted 422 times with 1 850 402 shares. His fan base has grown by 5 416 149 or 76% since May 1. Obama has 28 764 427 fans, but has only grown his base by 2 542 243 or 8.83% over the same period. He has posted only 179 times, but has had 2 400 770 shares.
Romney’s “Stand with Mitt. “Like” and share to help us get to 6 million Likes!” landed him 769 209 likes and 21 582 shares – a few million short of the target. His most engaging post: “It's the people of America that make it the unique nation that it is. “Like” if you agree that entrepreneurs, not government, create successful businesses,” posted with a photo, had an engagement rate of 15%. Obama’s highest post engagement rate is 2.10%.
We will update these statistics before the November 6th Election, but in the mean time, be sure to follow our CheerMeter for the daily stats, as we continue to follow the trends and chart the path that both candidates take on Twitter. Make sure you check out the live Twitter and Instagram feeds at the bottom of the page to get a more immediate idea of the current sentiment.
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