Even In Social The US Election Is A Close Call

By Sheldon Levine - Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 at 7:30 am  

Today is a very important day to the people of the United States of America. It’s election day. A day that has been four years in the making. As I sat down to collect some social data around the two candidates last night I saw many a pundit on television talk about how the race was looking a little too close to call. Well, social data seems to be telling that same story.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, I delved into social conversations since October first around the election to try and make a prediction on a winner based on online chatter. The problem is, it appears to be a very close race for the presidency. Looking for mentions of Obama or Democrat versus Romeny or Republican we can see that they’re neck and neck. In terms of overall mentions, Obama and the Democrats lead the way with just 51% of the share of voice. Romeny and the Republicans were very close though with the other 49%.

Even when I looked at those social mentions trended out over time we can see they’ve been very close for the last month and a bit. We can see that during the debates (which are the three large spikes we can see in the graph below) talk of Romney and the Republicans seemed to be the slight leader. However, for the past week and a half, Obama and the Democrats seemed to have gotten more talk.

However, as most of us have learned at some point in our lives, just because people are talking about you doesn’t mean they’re saying good things. So, I dug a bit deeper into each side of the election.

First I looked at Romney and the Republicans. Since October 1st I found 30.9 million mentions of them. 514,970 blog posts, 842,498 online news articles, 1,521,967 forum postings and 28,035,332 tweets. The top three states that were talking about him were California (11.56%), New York (10.37%) and Texas (7.1%). I also found that Romney and the Republicans have a 73% favourable rating. That came from having 27% negative talk and 24% positive talk.

I then looked at the same stats around Obama and the Democrats. They had a slight lead when it came to mentions with 32.7 million mentions. There were 626,307 blog posts, 992,778 online news articles, 1,933,088 forum postings and 29,236,730 tweets. Then, I found that the top three states talking about Obama and the Democrats were the exact same as their opponents; California (11.52%), New York (9.11%) and Texas (8.55%). And then came my big surprise. Obama and the Democrats were actually slightly behind in terms of sentiment. Their overall favourability rating was a 72%, coming in 1% behind Romney and the Republicans. While Obama matched him with 24% positive talk, the had slightly more negative talk with 28%.

Both the buzzgraphs and the word clouds around each side of the election doesn’t reveal a whole lot more either. They are both filled with election buzz words and are incredibly similar.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, this election may be a little too close to call. I would have liked to predict a winner to end this post, but even after examining the data, I’m having a hard time declaring an actual winner. Anything I said at this point would likely come from my own personal bias, so I won’t get into it.

We’ll just have to wait and see how this day plays out. I’m sticking with the pundits in saying that this race is way too close to call.

Who do you think is going to win? Can you make the call from looking at our data? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Also, be sure follow us on Twitter as we’ll be posting some interesting election social stats throughout the day.

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One Response to “Even In Social The US Election Is A Close Call”

  1. Sara Erb says:

    Close call…what do you say now?

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