Photo of Mitt Romney during the 2012 Iowa caucuses

Mitt Romney At The Iowa Caucuses

REPUBLICAN 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SEARCH VOLUME

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34.9% of the monthly searches for Republican presidential candidates were for Ron Paul.
Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann had the next largest slices of the search pie with 19.1% each.
Mitt Romney follows with 10.5%.
Newt Gingrich got 7% of the searches.
And Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman each got 4.7% of the searches.

THOUGHT: I’m curious about the correlation between online activity and its predictive ability when it comes to political races. Fortunately, we’ve got the Iowa Caucuses today from which we might gain some insight.

There are so many different factors that motivate people to vote for one candidate over another that I’m going to keep this very simple. The question before us is Does more equal more likely to get elected? Will greater search volume translate into a victory at the polls, for example.

What follows is an extensive collection of stats for each of the Republican candidates that are competing in Iowa today. When the actual votes are tallied, we can cross reference to see how things shook out.

Note that unless otherwise noted, these numbers are not filtered in any way. The search volume numbers, for example, includes searches originating anywhere in the world from people of all political persuasions.

RON PAUL

  • 1,500,000 monthly searches for “Ron Paul.”
  • Search Demographics:
  • 77% of the searches for “Ron Paul” are performed by men
  • 13% are performed by those younger than 24 years of age
  • 29% by those aged 25-34
  • 24% by those aged 35-44
  • 17% by those aged 45-54
  • 11% by those aged 55-64
  • 6% by those 65 and older
  • 420,000 unique monthly visitors to ronpaul2012.com.
  • @RonPaul Twitter account has 151,899 followers
  • Ron Paul Facebook page has 680,991 fans and 48,721 people talking about the page

RICK PERRY

  • 823,000 monthly searches for “Rick Perry.”
  • Search Demographics:
  • 62% of the searches for “Rick Perry” are performed by men
  • 10% are performed by those younger than 24 years of age
  • 19% by those aged 25-34
  • 22% by those aged 35-44
  • 22% by those aged 45-54
  • 15% by those aged 55-64
  • 12% by those 65 and older
  • 160,000 unique monthly visitors to rickperry.org
  • @TeamRickPerry Twitter account has 24,331 followers
  • Rick Perry Facebook page has 180,238 fans and 15,020 people talking about the page

MICHELE BACHMANN

  • 823,000 monthly searches for “Michele Bachmann.”
  • Search Demographics:
  • 77% of the searches for “Michele Bachmann” are performed by men
  • 6% are performed by those younger than 24 years of age
  • 12% by those aged 25-34
  • 19% by those aged 35-44
  • 27% by those aged 45-54
  • 23% by those aged 55-64
  • 13% by those 65 and older
  • 100,000 unique monthly visitors to michelebachmann.com
  • @TeamBachmann Twitter account has 36,401 followers
  • Michele Bachmann Facebook page has 460,286 fans and 22,180 people talking about the page

MITT ROMNEY

  • 450,000 monthly searches for “Mitt Romney.”
  • Search Demographics:
  • 64% of the searches for “Mitt Romney” are performed by men
  • 10% are performed by those younger than 24 years of age
  • 20% by those aged 25-34
  • 21% by those aged 35-44
  • 21% by those aged 45-54
  • 15% by those aged 55-64
  • 13% by those 65 and older
  • 350,000 unique monthly visitors to mittromney.com
  • @MittRomney Twitter account has 224,632 followers
  • Mitt Romney Facebook page has 1,272,566 fans and 98,388 people talking about the page

NEWT GINGRICH

  • 301,000 monthly searches for “Newt Gingrich.”
  • Search Demographics:
  • 68% of the searches for “Newt Gingrich” are performed by men
  • 6% are performed by those younger than 24 years of age
  • 12% by those aged 25-34
  • 19% by those aged 35-44
  • 21% by those aged 45-54
  • 20% by those aged 55-64
  • 22% by those 65 and older
  • 1,300,000 unique monthly visitors to newt.org
  • @NewtGingrich Twitter account has 1,386,266 followers
  • Newt Gingrich Facebook page has 225,130 fans and 19,968 people talking about the page

RICK SANTORUM

  • 201,000 monthly searches for “Rick Santorum.”
  • Search Demographics:
  • 62% of the searches for “Rick Santorum” are performed by men
  • 8% are performed by those younger than 24 years of age
  • 16% by those aged 25-34
  • 24% by those aged 35-44
  • 24% by those aged 45-54
  • 17% by those aged 55-64
  • 11% by those 65 and older
  • 39,000 unique monthly visitors to ricksantorum.com
  • @RickSantorum Twitter account has 57,537 followers
  • Rick Santorum Facebook page has 44,177 fans and 10,577 people talking about the page

JON HUNTSMAN

  • 201,000 monthly searches for “Jon Huntsman.”
  • Search Demographics:
  • 76% of the searches for “Jon Huntsman” are performed by men
  • 21% are performed by those younger than 24 years of age
  • 29% by those aged 25-34
  • 14% by those aged 35-44
  • 19% by those aged 45-54
  • 10% by those aged 55-64
  • 7% by those 65 and older
  • 64,000 unique monthly visitors to jon2012.com
  • @JonHuntsman Twitter account has 67,181 followers
  • Jon Huntsman Facebook page has 30,968 fans and 3,243 people talking about the page

I’d say that the Facebook numbers are the most important simply from a utility standpoint. As I said above, the search volume can be anyone searching from anywhere. Search volume indicates interest but the reason for that interest can include someone who may want to vote for the candidate as well as someone who is searching for information about a scandal involving the politician.

Twitter follower are more likely to include supporters but the nature of Twitter is that users dip in occasionally, so they typically miss the vast majority of a given Twitter account’s tweets.

But people hang out at Facebook. They spend a lot of time there, so they’re more likely to see a politician’s messages more often. Additionally, people use it to organize their own activities so it is a natural venue in which to organize politically.

SUPER COOL TOOL TUESDAY: The Washington Post’s @mentionmachine news app monitors Twitter and media across the Web for political candidate mentions, revealing trends and spikes that show where the conversation is and why.

 

Thank you for relaxation.