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Social Data from the 2012 Presidential Election

By now you’ve certainly heard the news that President Barack Obama will spend another four years in the White House. The AddThis network was extremely active as election results were flowing in and when the official announcement was made. See what activity looked like in what was the most social presidential election ever.

A Close Prediction

Prior to the election, we predicted how results might turn out based on online social activity – velocity and quantity of mentions and sentiment. The preliminary swing state prediction was extremely close – see this example in Virginia. Below is a comparison of our predictions to actual results as reported by our friends at NBCNews.com.

AddThis Prediction Data

Actual Virginia Results from NBCNews.com

The Announcement

Social activity related to Obama really started picking up as the media began reporting his victory. The social mentions graph below – showing shows how often a term appears in AddThis shares, social referrals and searches – shows that social activity related mostly to Romney early on, giving way to Obama as the results became more conclusive.

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The Social Breakdown

Last but not least, our service data shows that Facebook and Twitter were the top mechanisms for sharing articles about the election last night, with an even split between Facebook Like and Facebook shares. A social election indeed.

Election Day Predictions

After 2.5 years and over $2B spent by both candidates, we have arrived at election day. Pundits from both sides are predicting comfortable victories, but what does the data say?

If online behavior is any indication, neither candidate should feel all that comfortable and the margin of victory will be close. Check out the infographic we put together based on AddThis network data since the conventions ended.

Stay tuned as we’ll wrap up the election coverage tomorrow and see how close our data matches the results. Most importantly, if you are a US Citizen exercise your right to go vote today!

AddThis Election Predictions 11.5.12

Debate Season Comes to a Close

Last night’s Presidential debate put a keystone into the political debate season. The third and final showdown lacked the fireworks of previous debates, but continued election season’s dramatic presence on the social web. Check out our data from the AddThis network on the major moments and trends from our analysis of social mentions during the debate. Social mentions are a measure of online sharing, social referrals and searches related to specific content.

Social Analysis

Social activity during the first debates took place on Twitter exclusively. By the last debate Facebook was the dominant social network. For Barack Obama related content, Reddit shot up to the 3rd spot for most popular social network.

Top Social Moments

The top social moments of the evening took place in the post-debate recap related to China and Iran.


The most shared moment related to Barack Obama’s came at 9:56PM ET right after he talked about the unprecedented cooperation with Israel on deterring Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.  Romney’s top moment came at 10:24PM ET as the debate wrapped up and he hammered home how the country can’t afford 4 more years of high unemployment and increasing debt.

And the winner for most online social mentions is…

While the map looks very red, Obama edged out Romney social mentions by 1.5%.  Obama continues to dominate the conversation in Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa, all swing states.

Just because debate season is over doesn’t mean we’ll stop our data analysis. Check back over the next two weeks to learn more about how the election is playing out in social media and social interest.

The Second Presidential Debate, Binders Full of Data

Less than 3 weeks until we go to the polls and the path to victory is still very unclear.  Did the debate last night help one candidate separate themselves? Unlike the first presidential debate which, outside of Big Bird, did not produce many memorable moments, the town hall debate definitely hit some great marks.

Social Analysis

Unlike the 1st two debates, where Twitter crushed all other social services, this debate provided more of an opportunity for other services to jump in for sharing.  Why?  Well, the top content shared about the debate came in the post-debate spin on whether or not President Obama called what happened in Libya an act of terror.  We have seen consistently during the first 3 debates that content about fact checking, Facebook is the preferred way to share those articles.  The top article was from Commentary Magazine.

 

Top Social Moment(s)

No question that the top social moment for the debate was the exchange on Libya at 10:22PM where moderator Candy Crowley even corrected Mitt Romney on quoting Barack Obama.  Many people might think that the “Binders of Women” comment Mitt Romney said would be the top moment, but the buzz from this moment was actually small initially and grew steadily during the rest of the debate.

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Coal, Lilly Ledbetter, Memes

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The top issues of the debate last night that did not include a binder or Big Bird dealt with energy issues and women’s right to fair pay and whether or not the candidates were telling the truth.

Though the most lasting moment of the night may be the mentions of the word “binder.”

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And the winner is …

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Style versus Substance: It’s the VP Debate Recap

Last night at Centre College in Danville, KY Vice President Joe Biden faced off against Congressman Paul Ryan in the latest round of debates.  While last week’s 1st Presidential debate showed a clear winner both in opinions as well as the data, this debate was much closer.  Let’s jump into the data.

Social Analysis

There was a great divide last night not just in substance between the candidates but also which social networks drove referrals for each candidate.  If you were reading content about Paul Ryan during the 95 minutes the debate it most likely was found on Facebook.

 

However, if you were reading content about Joe Biden, then it was probably because you found that content on Twitter.

 

Top Social Moment

There was a tie for top social moment last night.  The first top moment was at 9:35P Eastern when Joe Biden pointed out that Paul Ryan sent letters requesting stimulus money and the second moment was at 9:56P Eastern when the candidates had an exchange about Jack Kennedy.

 

Style vs. Substance Social Mentions

Each candidate had high points and low points last night.  The top words associated with Paul Ryan last night were the letters he sent to President Obama requesting stimulus money for his district.

Biden’s buzz was around his laughing reaction to Ryan’s answers, but it was not just about Biden’s debating style.  Biden generated a lot of buzz with his comments on Jack Kennedy.


And the winner is …

The map is very balanced with Biden leading in mentions in the metropolitan areas while Paul Ryan took the lead in mentions in rural, midwest and southern states.

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It’s also worth mentioning the breakout star of the night … Martha Raddatz, the debate moderator! Unlike poor Jim Lehrer, who was (and still is) the punchline of jokes after his Presidential debate performance, Raddatz had a largely positive reception. In fact, our data shows that Martha had the highest social spike of the night, beating out both Biden and Ryan:

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Less than 4 weeks to go until decision time.  Get the latest social stats from our special coverage section Election 2012. We’ll see you next Tuesday for the second Presidential debate.

Can a Cup of Coffee Predict the Election?

We are less than a month away from Election Day in the US, and everyone is trying to predict the outcome using a variety of data points. We joined in on the fun by launching our Election 2012 page as a place to highlight our social data and give insights into how the election is playing out.

Well, AddThis publisher, 7-11, has a very fun and unique data point of their own that they are tracking nationwide. If you go into a 7-11 and buy a cup of coffee you are presented with a choice of a Barack Obama cup or a Mitt Romney cup. Results are tabulated and presented on a map. Currently Obama leads Romney 60% to 40%. (What about regular vs. decaf?)

You also can check out results in your state or certain cities.

How does that stack up to our data?  Check out the latest social mentions map below, displaying by county the intensity of mentions for each candidate (Romney red and Obama blue). It is worth noting that this data is not taking sentiment into effect so it’s possible Alaska is just really upset about the whole PBS thing … ;)

Stay tuned for the VP debate recap on Friday morning. Missed the Presidential debate last week? We’ve got the data rundown here.

You can also follow us on Twitter for more fun data facts!

First Presidential Debate in the Books

Last night, in Denver, CO, President Obama faced off against Governor Romney in the first presidential debate.  While Facebook and Twitter existed in 2008, wide adoption of each platform had not yet occurred.  Last night was the first presidential debate where having your Twitter stream open while watching the debate was a prerequisite.

Social Recap
If you followed the live tweets we did during the debate, we mentioned that leading up to the start of the debate twice as much sharing was happening on Facebook over Twitter.

atbuzz-debate-tweet_10-4-2012

Once the debate started, that completely flipped where 66% of all sharing for the debate was on Twitter.

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Top Social Moment
The top social moment during the debate occurred at 9:51PM ET when the candidates began to discuss Medicare. In second place was the moment Big Bird was mentioned at 9:44P ET.

Measuring Social Mentions
The results of the debate are subject to opinion and each candidate’s representative in the spin room afterward. Of course we could just go to the data, which does not lie. Prior to the debate last night, Obama held a sizeable lead in social mentions in east of the Mississippi River.
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Once the debate ended, Romney had clearly changed the narrative and took a commanding lead in social mentions.
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More concerning for the Obama team might be the sentiment scores from last night’s debate. Obama’s sentiment scores had been trending more positive since the Libyan Consulate attack, culminating with a large part of the country having positive sentiment prior to last night’s debate.
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Now compare that to this morning…
obama_sent_121004

We have three debates to go, one Vice Presidential debate next week and two Presidential debates where we will dissect the data to see how each candidate performed.

The First Social Data Driven Election

Welcome to AddThis’ coverage of the 2012 Election where we are analyzing data around the clock to bring you the top social insights leading up to Election Day on November 6th.  Following the social insights work we did starting with the Super Bowl in February through to the Olympics in July, we want to help you understand the impact social is having on determining who will be the next President of the United States.

Here are the types of coverage you can expect to find on this page:

  • Live coverage starting tonight of the debate via our Twitter account @AddThis
  • Re-caps of each debate the next day
  • Data analysis down to each county in the US to understand how battleground states like Ohio and Florida will play out for each candidate.

To get a taste of the kind of data we are talking about, here is a look at which counties are mentioning which candidate more from yesterday, October 2nd.
obama_v_romney
To keep up to date with our latest data analysis on the election be sure to bookmark this page.

VP Biden beats President Obama in social mentions across Web

Sadly, the national convention season is over for the next four years, but at least, we still have data to remember it by and the promise of the next 60 days worth of election sprinting.

Last night, the first question was whether Vice President Biden’s impassioned speech or the President’s drove more interest in the Socialsphere.  In looking at public social comments on it’s Social TV scorecard, Bluefin Labs showed that the President won easily with 53K public comments per minute.  But at AddThis, we track social comments across 350 global social services (from email to Tumblr, from Twitter to Pinterest) and the result was different – Biden beat Obama in social mentions across the Web.  Some commentators noted that Biden’s comments were more impactful than the President’s, and our data from the Socialsphere backs that up.  We also saw that unlike when President Clinton spoke, where there was 70% more tweets than Facebook updates, last night was even between the two platforms.

Looking at where the President got the most social mentions, we see that the East Coast of the US was 3X more interested in Obama’s speech than the South and Midwest.  Interesting to note that the battleground states of North Carolina and Virginia were particularly fired up.

As for what people were commenting on – topics covered the usual gamut: polls, the President’s church, his kids, salary, and Matt Damon (?).

And to answer some questions from the above…No, the President was not in a fraternity.  His salary is $400K a year.  He is 6 feet, 1 inches tall.  And he quit smoking a year ago.

More election data coming soon from us…  Want to get this data for your own site?  Time to get AddThis’s social plugins and analytics.

Mom-in-Chief Michelle Makes Social Waves on the Coasts

At the first night of the Democratic National Convention, First Lady Michelle Obama took to the stage to talk about her and her husband’s past, emphasizing their humbler beginnings, as well as her most important role: being a mom.

The speech made garnered a lot of interest, especially on the east and west coasts:

The darker the state, the more intense the interest.

Ann Romney’s geographical breakdown last week didn’t see nearly as much intensity.

She also beat out other keynote speaker, San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, in mentions:

So, what were the hot topics about Michelle? Unfortunately, some of the terms reflect a somewhat shallow theme, as people were curious about many unimportant physical factors such as her weight, the clothes she was wearing and if she’s had a nose job.