Presidential Campaign: Twitter Week in Review

It’s been an interesting week on Twitter for the presidential candidates.  Mitt Romney is finally the last man standing in the GOP.  Barack Obama has ramped up his campaigning and attacks against Romney. Let’s look at the campaigns’ week on Twitter in review:

Click on Chart to See Full Size

What does it all mean? Let’s walk down the stats…

Barack Obama still has a commanding lead in followers and tweets over Romney — Mitt is going to need to renew his engagement with Social Media if he wants to compete.  He’s been relying on the masses (urged on by the GOP and others) who like to stomp over Obama’s hash tags (see my recent post on how effective that has or has not been).  But that’s all negative — it doesn’t make the case for Romney very effectively.

We can see that last week Romney’s efforts on twitter have been lackadaisical: he barely managed to get out more than a tweet a day.  That’s not engagement, that’s disengagement.  Did he give the social media team the week off?

Obama, on the other hand, is on fire.  He’s averaging over 20 tweets a day, and set off Twitter fireworks on Saturday with 80 tweets.  I wonder if he’ll keep it up.

And the response from the tweeple matches what the candidates have been doing.  Obama gets mentioned nearly 5 times as often as Romney does.  Twitter is an idea amplification device: no signal in equals no signal out.

You might wonder: maybe most of the tweets about Obama are negative? After all, the republicans have made a concerted effort to hijack Obama’s hash tags.  Sadly for the GOP, that’s not happening.  Only 20% of the tweets mentioning the President were critical of him.  On the other hand, Romney negatives are are almost double at 36%.  And those didn’t seem to be driven by an organized democratic campaign.

Of course, Romney and Obama are most frequently mentioned by each other’s followers.  There’s a lot of anti as well as pro out there. Young Jeezy was an interesting blip in mentions, owing to Obama’s prediction of his future singing…

So if last week wasn’t so good for Mitt, will he step up his Twitter output this week? Will the GOP increase its hashtag hijacking to grow Obama’s negatives? We’ll see in a week!  Be sure to subscribe to updates from this website — we only send out notification of new postings, so there’s no spamming to worry about.


Want to know how I came up with this data?

  • Tweets by candidates look only at the @BarackObama and @MittRomeny accounts.
  • Mentions look for tweets containing one or more of @BarackObama, #Obama2012, @MittRomney, or #Romney2012
  • Sentiment was calculated by taking a random sample of all tweets during the week mentioning either candidate.  Each tweet was scored, after I read it, as being in opposition of the candidate (anti-), not in opposition of the candidate (pro-), or not really about the candidate (off-topic) The sample size was 383 for Romney and 384 for Obama, and the percentages reported are + or – 5% at a 95% confidence level.  There is a level of subjectivity in my scoring, but for most tweets it’s pretty darn clear.
  • The list of top mentions is fairly simple to calculate.

Tools used were custom Java analysis programs, MySQL database.  Charts were generated in Excel and the entire document was assembled in Photoshop Elements 10. All on a Mac.

Sorry you read this far 🙂 ?