Connie Mack has a burst of enthusiasm! Florida Senate Race on Twitter 4/29-5/5/2012

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…

Mack Dominates Florida Senate Race on Twitter Last Week

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.

Jeff Atwater Running for US Senate in Florida? Twitter is Showing Early Interest in Him!

There’s twin stories that are being pushed through the media lately.  The first is that Connie Mack isn’t gaining traction in his bid to be the GOP nominee, and the second is that Florida state CFO Jeff Atwater is going to jump in the race because of that.  But as I’ve previously discussed, Connie Mack isn’t fading in twitter mentions, indicating stronger grass roots support.

The primary indicator we use to measure Twitter support is mentions: how many twitter users tweet (or re-tweet) something that includes the person-in-question’s name, hashtag, or user id.

So how has Twitter reacted since news of Atwater’s possible run surfaced?

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A pretty good spike on Monday — when the story broke —  but it started to fall off on Tuesday.  Connie Mack IV gets around 60 mentions a day, so Atwater is in the running on Twitter as long as he can keep the activity up.

And he does seem to be tweeting more frequently:

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To run for Senate, though he would need to up his level of Twitter activity quite a bit; at the moment, he’s in the doldrums…

I’ll put him in with the other three candidates in my periodic reviews unless/until he  drops out of the race so we can see how he’s tracking on Twitter in the future.

“Mack campaign loses luster,” says Miami Herald. They just made that up, says I

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:

  1. I retrieved all tweets sent by the three candidates since 1/1/2012 to get a general level of their twitter activity.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.

The Florida Senate Race on Twitter

[For an update on this topic, see this more recent post]

While most of the media attention is focused on the GOP Presidential Primary, we have a very important GOP primary in Florida for Senator coming up mid-august.  And there’s three main candidates in the running: George LeMieux, Mike McCalister, and Connie Mack.  Let’s take a look at how they’re engaging with Twitter — and how Twitter is engaging back.

First, let’s look at the weekly tweets from each campaign:

Tweets per week by Florida GOP Senate Hopefuls

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LeMieux and Mack are more or less neck and neck, while McCalister has been much quieter.

Let’s see how this has affected the number of followers each candidate has:

Twitter Followers for Florida GOP Senate Hopefuls

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We can see that Connie Mack is in the lead, with George LeMieux having about two thirds as many, and Mike McCalister having only a little over one fifth the followers of Mack.

So, should we expect the same in mentions — the number of tweets other people send about the candidates?  Following is a one time activity, but mentioning is an ongoing process, and is a true measure of enthusiasm.  Let’s look at that enthusiasm:

Twitter @ mentions for Florida GOP Senate Hopefuls

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Wow! Connie Mack has a hugely larger engagement with voters on Twitter.  He is pulling way ahead of the others.

Yes, it’s still a long way until August 15th, but let’s not forget that Marco Rubio used Twitter to out flank Charlie Crist 2 years ago.  Crist never engaged in social media effectively, and therefore didn’t see the forces that Rubio was massing there that eventually pushed Crist out of the party.

Each of the three senatorial candidates should think long and hard about their engagement strategy — there’s plenty of time to ramp it up, but you don’t want to wait too long…