No, that’s not what some Red, White & Blog readers are chanting today in anticipation of the column’s hiatus following this final 2012 post. It is what Barack Obama tweeted after taking Ohio’s electoral votes and locking up a second term for his presidency. But given the role some newer media – like Twitter – played in the down-to-the-wire race, maybe the Prez should’ve tweeted “four more screens.”
It’s probably not possible to figure out exactly what role media, especially social media played in the final outcome, but it clearly is, and will continue to be, a growing factor in political races. At the height of last night’s election returns frenzy, Twitter clocked a record 328,000 tweets-per-minute.
To understand the role online and social media played in shaping the sentiment of voters leading up to Election Day, we asked “interest graph” and “brand graph” trackers 33Across to analyze the “social personas” of the Republican and Democratic voters, and to look at how they searched and shared queries about their major concerns about the two parties’ candidates.
Overall, both Republican and Democratic voters over-indexed in online usage vs. the general population, and Republicans were even bigger “sharers” of content than Democratic users. Democrats were bigger consumers of online video. Beyond that, the big role online media appears to have played was in how voters searched, analyzed and spread the word about their primary concerns.
The results may be a telling forensics of Tuesday’s results, according to Allie Kline, CMO of 33Across, because it shows that while concerns moderate overall for the two candidates, they remained higher for Mitt Romney, and generally were “character-based” as opposed to the major concerns surrounding President Obama, which were more “fact-based.”
The No. concern about Obama, for example, was his attention to “small businesses,” which moderated slightly following the debates, but was still queried by about a quarter of all “Obama” related searchers. Obama’s No. 2 concern, where he was born, moderated dramatically after the debates.
The chief concerns surrounding Romney – is wealth, tax returns, religion, perceived greed and flip-flopping – remained high or was growing leading up to Election Day.
“Those are big issues to overcome from September to October, and oddly enough, many of them have grown,” Kline said.
Top Concerns About Presidential Candidates
Source: 33Across, pre- and post- the three presidential debates. Methodology: Extrapolation from the aggregate of all searches related to keywords “Obama” and “Romney” categorized by issue.