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Using Social Media Data to Predict Super Tuesday Presidential Outcomes

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 9.29.30 PM

Image Courtesy of Neilsen Ratings - http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/top10s.html

Ohio's Role in Presidential Elections

It is no secret that Ohio has been a highly convented battle ground state in recent presidential elections. All the major players in the 2016 election recently made tour stops to Youngstown, Ohio, which is now the epicenter for Super Tuesday Primaries in the 2016 Presidential Election.

If you look purely at the data, which is what a lot of the really smart people are doing in all of these political camps. You have to understand that President Barack Obama attributed much of the success of his first campaign for presidency to the use of social media.

Not just for creating awareness but using social media to create a community, listen to an audience and watch the numbers closely. Data can tell us a great deal of many things...Previously we would rely on survey methods that were very disruptive by nature. Phone calls, an incredibly labor intensive processes to try to churn out data with untimely results.

Social Media Listening Tools

There are plenty of social media listening and monitoring tools on the market today. Nuvi, Sprinklr and Sysomos are just a few. They will pull in social media data, open web content and blogs. These are incredibly powerful tools that allow you to identify sentiment, whether positive, neutral or negative. Not to mention what social media channels are dominating the landscape, ability to identify social influencers, trending topics and hashtags and much more.

Using Data to Predict the Election

Political strategist, no matter Republican or Democrat are using sophisticated technology to make data driven decisions, no different from any business in the private sector. Nielsen Rankings have been around forever. It's a rating system to see how many households watch program television. Nielsen recognized they needed to start to capture social data as well...So they went away and developed a proprietary system that will count impressions, users and other Key Performance Indicators of not only TV but Twitter as well...The reason why it's Twitter, typically we see that Twitter will dominate social chatter for sports, reality TV and political debates. It's also the most widely used to engage with TV programming.

I've not really heard many news media outlets reference these stats as predictors. However we here at DOYO have been following the progress of candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election very closely.

Here are a couple things to consider or at least what the data is telling us:

  • Trump is dominating social media. Weeks again Bernie Sanders/Hillary Clinton's Town Hall delivered 21 million impressions via TV and Twitter, Donald did 18 million by himself in his Town Hall.
  • Republican Debate - Yes, it is great theater, however the numbers are so one sided that it's not even close because of some outlier. The Republican Debate generated 181M impressions vs. Democratic Debate 68M. Do the math. It's very simple to see who's winning.
  • Data Wins - Again we are not in the business of endorsement but looking at all the KPI's on impressions, unique users, etc. it's very evident that the Republican Party is dominating. People in the middle typically decide elections, many people dislike to throw votes away. It's a distinct advantage to whomever is ahead on these KPI's carrying that over to the final outcome.

Not sure if it will translate come the final results. Early polls indicate that the party, individual, and so on that wins on social has a good shot at winning the whole thing.

DOYO Live is a digital marketing and interactive design conference being held in Youngstown, Ohio on August 4, 2016. This message is fully approved by DOYO Live and in no way an endorsement of any political party or candidate. Just do us a favor, exercise your freedom of being an American an get out and vote. 

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