Twitter Leans left After Presidential Debate
Social media and the polls see the debate from different angles.
If social media is any indication, President Barack Obama can look forward to four more years in the White House. But according to other polls and traditional media, he shouldn’t get too comfortable in the race against Mitt Romney.
The Pew Research Center released a new poll yesterday (Oct. 8) that shows the candidates neck-and-neck, with 46 percent of registered voters likely to choose the Democratic incumbent, and 46 percent likely to vote for the Republican challenger. The poll also says 72 percent thought Romney did a better job in the first of the presidential debates.
However, a recent study by Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism showed the social media reaction to the debate to be more critical of Romney than of Obama. On Twitter, 35 percent of the conversations were pro-Obama, while only 22 percent were positive for Romney. Facebook results were more balanced between the candidates.
The findings reflect the political makeup of social media users. In a March 2012 report from Pew Internet and American Life Project, almost 75 percent of liberals polled said they used Twitter, Facebook and other social channels, compared with 60 percent of conservatives who said so.
Liberals showed their support during the Democratic National Convention by watching videos online, generating nearly twice the views (more than 13 million) that the Republican convention did (7.3 million).
According to previous research, Obama’s campaign outstripped his rival's in volume of interactions on social media, too. The Obama campaign posted on social media four times as frequently as Romney’s campaign.
Obama’s efforts seem to have been effective. In an online survey of 2,505 people conducted by marketers Terry Dean and Dr. Glenn Livingston, over 64 percent thought Obama was better at online persuasion and social media use.