Social media analysis predicts tonight’s Iowa caucus victor via Facebook

LatinaLista — Speculation is running high on just who will win the Iowa caucus tonight, the New Hampshire primary next week, and eventually, the GOP nomination. As expected, since it is the start of the new year, some psychics have tried to predict the eventual winner.  But there’s another way that could be even more reliable — or as reliable as a fickle public.

Social media statistics site, SocialBaker, decided to look at Facebook for any hint of who might win the GOP nomination and who would win the election. The company’s developers created “metrics based on Likes, sentiments in comments, and interactions to identify the candidates most likely to win at the polls.” They posted their analysis at US Elections 2012.

The developers tracked more than 10 million Facebook Pages and Places, and billions of individual user interactions through December to measure which candidate was being talked about the most. Their findings go hand-in-hand with what the polls are showing currently in Iowa.

“Viral Reach,” determined by Socialbaker as Likes and comments multiplied by the average number of friends per Facebook user, suggests that Ron Paul holds the highest overall with 59,554 comments this past week. Rick Perry had the most engaging single-post among candidates, followed by Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich.

The site reveals some other interesting trivia:

  • Rick Santorum has had the most fan growth over the last month.
  • Barack Obama ranks as the highest candidate who has “something engaging to say to their fans.”
  • Barack Obama (228) and Ron Paul (60) lead the way in how many people engage with a candidate’s page last week.
However, because social media is all about what’s happening now, all of this can change tomorrow and it just underscores the fact that politics is a hard business to predict.


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