President Obama is winning the stakes in one possibly key and emerging area of public sentiment, as measurements of the candidate’s popularity are high on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and the like.
But on Twitter, Romney trails tremendously — a circumstance not entirely unexpected given the way demographics shake out. While Romney voters tend to be older and more conservative overall, Obama voters are far likelier to represent the youth vote, and embrace all the technologies at their disposal.
The social media election disparity has been a subject of scrutiny in this tight race, and Nicco Mele, a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, spoke to Bloomberg about the strong lead Obama has in the realm of social media overall.
Mele points to the force of “sheer numbers” backing Obama on social media sites in general — as a for instance, Obama has clocked 31,134,018 likes on Facebook, miles ahead of Romney’s 10,331,303 likes on the social network. Mele explains:
“Obama is operating at a different order of magnitude than Romney just in terms of raw numbers… We’re effectively in the dark ages of this. The eco- system is just so different and so new. It’s really hard to figure out what is actually going to matter.”
And indeed, Mele is correct to note that the actual meaning of the data strongly favoring Obama has yet to be seen. Whether a larger presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter is anyone’s guess, as the services and their reach into day to day life has increased so dramatically even since the watershed 2008 election of President Barack Obama.
But where Obama has managed to grab an organic, grassroots following on the networks, GOP operatives struggle to catch up in a changing social media news world. Another facet of the phenomenon is occurring right now on Twitter, where the “#hashtagwars” as Bloomberg dubbed them are playing out over the top Twitter Trending Topic, #cantafford4more.