Republicans 'kicking butt' in social media

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The Rebublicans are set to win in the November mid-term elections, if their Facebook and Twitter presence is to be believed.

They've got five four times as many Facebook fans and five times as many Twitter followers as Democratic candidates, according to voter registration campaigning group Headcount.    

"As an organization that blends politics with pop culture, we spend a lot of time thinking about social media. So we thought it would be interesting to check out what the Midterm Election candidates are doing online, and what we found kind of made our heads spin," says Headcount's executive director Andy Bernstein.

"It’s a social media landslide."

Republican candidates for the Senate have amassed 1.43 million fans on Facebook, compared to just under 300,000 for Democrats. The difference is even more striking on Twitter, where Repubican Senatorial candidates collectively have close to 520,000 followers, and Democrats fewer than 90,000.

Headcount tried eliminating Arizona Republican Senator John McCain and California Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina, who respectively have the largest number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Even then, though, Republican Senate candidates average 20,985 Facebook fans and 5,892 Twitter followers. Democrats average 8,260 and 2,591 respectively.

"It may not come as a real surprise that Republicans are out in front. The 'enthusiasm gap' between the parties is well documented, and social media activity is a great barometer of people's passions," says Bernstein.

"But four or five times bigger?"

The full report is here.