Last week, George LeMieux announced he was exiting the GOP primary for US Senate in Florida. Which, ironically, gave him his “best” week on Twitter:
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I’ve added Dave Weldon into the list starting 6/16; he’s not making much of a splash so far, but let’s see where he goes.
With the republican primary looking like it will go to Connie Mack IV, I thought it would be nice to check in on how the candidates are doing on Twitter:
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Connie Mack’s Twitter activity is like Tigger: bouncy bouncy bouncy. Endorsements keep rolling in for him, and his focus has to be shifting to the general election. But there’s still not a lot of mentions of Bill Nelson in tweets about Mack, so November is not yet on the public’s radar.
McCalister, on the other hand, has flatlined. I actually panicked for a moment thinking I must have missed his pulling out of the campaign. But no, he’s still there. Twitter was never his thing, to be fair.
George LeMieux is still around, but he too almost lost his pulse on Twitter until the Florida Federation of Young Republicans annual conference produced a surge of activity. Now days, I think his name is mostly mentioned in the context of Charlie Crist and the Jim Greer trial. George is stuck with Charlie like some sort of bad buddy movie.
But all’s not well on Twitter for Mack … there’s a shadow trailing him, keeping up but keeping his distance. That shadow is Bill Nelson, waiting for the general election cycle to get under way… Let’s see what happens with him towards the end of August.
Republican primary frontrunner Connie Mack IV had a burst of Twitter activity this week, giving us a nice spike in activity. He had a day of tweets on Thursday, and throughout the week his mentions on Twitter were higher than his two primary opponents and his (should he win the primary) general election opponent, Senator Bill Nelson.
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Mike McCalister has all but disappeared from Twitter, which seems to match the odds he’s getting for winning the primary…
Connie Mack IV continued his lead in Twitter last week, with nearly a majority of all tweets about Florida’s US Senate candidates:
Bill Nelson came in second, but far behind Mack. LeMieux had a fairly small presence, and McCalister having so few tweets recorded that I had to go back and review it by hand to make sure my program didn’t have a bug!
When you look at the daily mentions, you can see how last week played out:
Connie Mack’s spike on 4/24 appears to be from two things: (1) many retweets of his congratulatory tweet to Romney for winning the primary, and (2) comments about his appearance on Chuck Todd’s show on MSNBC where Mack refused to say how he’d vote on student loans. A lot of those comments were not positive.
Still, by dominating the news, Connie Mack is sucking the oxygen out of the GOP primary race. That’s one of the advantages of holding a similar office — Mack is relevant today on issues that the winner of the race will confront next year.
The Miami Herald has an article today saying that Connie Mack IV’s campaign is fizzling out. As evidence of this, they quote a few party insiders (many unnamed) and look at some very early fundraising reports.
When I look at what’s happening on Twitter, though, I call bullshit.
Let’s start with how much each of the candidates has tweeted lately:
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What we see is that McCalister is still not very active (we last looked at the three of them about three weeks ago), but LeMieux and Mack are fairly comparable in their activity.
So, how does the Twitterverse respond to them?
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Well, maybe if Connie Mack’s wife Mary was running for Senate in Florida we could call it a lackluster campaign, since her mentions are between LeMieux’s and McCalister’s. But since it’s the Mr. and not the Mrs. who’s running, we can see that on Twitter the Mack Attack is dominating the rest of them.
Maybe the Miami Herald should escape the Brie and Chablis set and find out what’s really happening. Because compared to his two opponents, Connie Mack is on fire.
Methodology & Notes:
Some important things to remember:
- I retrieved all tweets sent by the three candidates since 1/1/2012 to get a general level of their twitter activity.
- I retrieved all tweets sent by others in the past week that mentioned @ConnieMackIV, @RepConnieMack, @George_LeMieux, or @McCalister4FL. Including RepConnieMack in the list had almost no effect on the results.
- Because of #2, Bill Nelson, Mary Bono Mack, and Mitt Romney were only counted in tweets that also included at least one of the candidates. In other words, I did not go looking for these folks, they just showed up when our three GOP contenders were discussed.
- Twitter popularity is not a scientific poll. But I bet it’s a lot more accurate than asking a few grumpy insiders what they think!
- Just in case all the tweets about Connie were “hey, he’s losing his luster”, I read through them all. Virtually all of his mentions were supporters.