How the 2014 US Midterm Elections Play Out on Facebook

The midterm elections wrap up in the US tomorrow, and the dash to the end is in full swing. We have been tracking the Facebook performance for every candidate in every race - for the House, Senate, and governorships - with results that will interest campaigners and voters alike.

How the 2014 US Midterm Elections Play Out on Facebook

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Obviously, all of the races are important (democracy!), but this election cycle’s key issue is over control of the Senate. Most analysts’ models have Republicans gaining enough seats to take over majority control of the upper chamber, as well as in some key battleground states like Iowa, Georgia, and Colorado. Ahead of the 2016 presidential elections, these battles will be key.

You can track all of the more than 1,000 candidates on our microsite, where we have aggregated data points from our Socialbakers Analytics tool. As an example, we’ve taken a closer look at the race in Iowa between Rep. Bruce Braley [D] and Joni Ernst [R] , which could really set the tone for the 2016 race.

Rep. Braley has about twice as many Fans as Ernst, but total Fan count isn’t everything. Ernst has gained Fans steadily over the last 2 months, and those new Fans have been hit with a lot of engaging content.

The Ernst campaign’s enhanced posting strategy has been rewarded with a lot of Interactions. With half the Fans Rep. Braley’s Page has, the Ernst camp has done well to get the most out of that Fan base.

On October 26, the influential Des Moines Register endorsed Braley – the post on his campaign’s Facebook Page about the endorsement was his most popular of the last two weeks.

The Ernst campaign released a video of her on a farm with the message that Washington needed to be cleaned up. Its imagery speaks for itself – but her accompanying message spells it out just to clarify the message.

Campaigns for elected positions are increasingly social – Barack Obama’s successful run for the presidency in 2008 showed the power of socially-driven campaigns. Since then, that art has only developed further and become more necessary to perfect for parties and candidates that want to get out their message. Amid the TV ad traffic and lawn signs, social provides a way for the candidates to campaign from anywhere, to pretty much anyone.

It also provides ample opportunity for blunders and mistakes – errors that have the power to sink elections hopes.

Because everything matters in election cycles, it is crucial that campaign managers are using deep social analytics like the ones you get with Socialbakers Analytics to look at what voters are saying, the issues they care about, and ways to get their supporters to the polls on election day.

The presidential elections are still two years out – but that is no time at all in the modern campaigning world. Stay tuned as we offer more in the coming weeks about social’s impact on democracy and, if you’re in the US, go vote on November 4th!

Chief Editor @zachprague

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