Here in Cambridge, MA, every other TV commercial for the last two weeks has been a senate campaign spot. Yesterday, Republican Scott Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts special election after taking full advantage of social media campaign tools. Now that the dust from the election has settled, we decided to take a look at the online conversation about the election and see if claims that BrownÃƒÂs campaign dominated the social media arena were true. This is what we found:
Tweets On Election Day
Yes, social media strongly favored Scott Brown.
– 41% of tweets specifically favored Brown, referencing votes, time and money given to him.
– An additional 9% were anti-Coakley for her political views and poorly run campaign
– A further 21% were conservatives happy that stopping Coakley meant hamstringing the Obama agenda in the senate as well (mostly focused on health care and carbon cap and trade)
– Even the 16% of tweets that were anti-Brown focused mostly on him being too liberal
The lonely few pro-Coakley Twitterers managed to capture 9% of the overall conversation flow and their candidate took 47% at the polls.
Blogs And Forums Throughout The Campaign
Analysis of conversations on blogs and forums showed similar results to the Twittersphere of pro-Brown, anti-Coakley, and anti-Obama sentiment over the course of the campaign, though Coakley’s support was twice that of what it was in Twitter. With access to more than 140 characters at a time, bloggers and forum-dwellers tend to express many opinions over the course of one post, so our categories were a little broader to reflect this (it turns out people who disliked Coakley tended to also think that Scott Brown is great.)
Monitoring over time revealed a brief bump in the conversation focused on stopping Obama’s agenda on 1/8. On that day, Scott Brown appeared on Sean Hannity’s show, bringing a more national, conservative audience to the Massachusetts race. Over the rest of the race, the sentiment held steadily.