The range of possible candidates for Florida’s 2014 gubernatorial race continues to grow even as many of the potential candidates remain coy about their intentions. But most are not just playing coy, they’re playing dead on Twitter, judging by activity over the past two months:
Click to enlarge
Only current governor Rick Scott has an ongoing, regular pulse on Twitter; the rest have a brief moment of activity and settle back down into quiet.
Other than the first wave of speculation about Bill Nelson’s candidacy it’s been fairly quiet for him. I will add Pam Iorio this month and will have her data starting with the June charts. So far, though, she’s not creating a big impact on Twitter.
As you can see from the charts, only Will Weatherford and Charlie Crist have an ongoing ability to generate talk on a level similar to Rick Scott. With the state’s legislative season coming to an end, it will be interesting to see if Weatherford continues to generate conversation or disappears back into the noise.
And poor Nan Rich — even though she is more or less the only declared democratic candidate she can’t get a break from the party or from Twitter. I’ll look at her candidacy on Twitter in more detail later on this month.
March is in the history books. How did Twitter treat our much talked about gubernatorial possibles? Here’s the frequency of Twitter mentions for each of them:
Click to Enlarge
Rick Scott still dominates Twitter — as the sitting governor, you’d expect that. Charlie Crist is doing pretty well in mentions. Perhaps rumors of his announcing a run at the Kennedy King dinner in May will drive his mentions higher in April?
The rest of them … only Will Weatherford is doing well (spoiler: on 4/2 Adam Putnam’s tweet about Florida’s 500 got a lot of play — we’ll see if that gives him a bump that lasts). The rest of the rest, not so well…
One thing that’s amazing — Rick Scott has this weird regular pulse to his mentions. Here’s a longer term view of Scott’s mentions on Twitter:
Rick Scott’s Heartbeat? Click to enlarge
I ran this through a FFT (Fast-Fourier Transform) which shows the dominant frequencies in the Twitter activity:
What we see is that Twitter activity for Rick Scott tends to be clustered on a 4-day and a 7-day cycle. Eyeballing the (previous) chart, you can see the weekly cycle at work. One has to wonder if this isn’t some strange way governor’s office works — do they just send out news on Tuesdays and Fridays? I’m not sure — I’ll dig into this next month if this keeps up!
February was shaping up to be a quiet month on Twitter for Florida’s sitting governor, Rick Scott, and his possible contenders … until Scott announced his support for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion:
Guess when Scott OK’ed Medicaid? Click on image to enlarge.
Well that certainly set the agenda for the next week! Interestingly, sentiment on Twitter was positive, on balance (though sentiment is notoriously hard to measure accurately).
What about the rest of the possible 2014 contenders for Scott’s office? It’s hard to see them as more than noise after Medicaid, but if you take Scott out of the picture you can see a bit more about how they’re performing:
For Crist, it was Greer and Bear it. Click to enlarge
Charlie Crist got a lot of activity early in the month in relation to Jim Greer’s trial and guilty plea. Alex Sink made some news where she stepped back from the race. And Will Weatherford, speaker of Florida’s house, suddenly became a contender for 2014 as a primary challenger against Scott (H/T St. PetersBlog. NB: The stats here only started tracking him as of 2/23). For Nan Rich, unfortunately, Twitter is still mostly terra incognita.
It’s still too early to draw any conclusions — but it’s interesting to see that for both Crist and Scott, a lot of Twitter activity was controversial in nature. Will Scott controlled the timing of his announcement, it’s clear that the conversations about both Crist and Scott are being driven by external events. Let’s see if, over time, they can start to define their own narrative on Twitter.