I’ve said this for a while now … it’s too bad we can’t vote for politics the way we vote for American Idol contestants. I think a lot more people would show up to support their faves! But even though we can’t text our votes, people are definitely Liking their candidates on Facebook, as proven during the first Republican Presidential Debate featuring all of the candidates last night in New Hampshire.
Likester, a global popularity engine that analyzes Facebook “Likes”, kept a close eye on the event – where the seven candidates debated Medicare, the national debt, abortion, gay marriage, immigration, and more.
The site says their goal is to predict something “meaningful” – the 2012 Republican nominee – and they’re starting with an analysis of the debate results:
Winner: Mitt Romney. Prior to the debate, Romney had 936,090 likes. During and immediately after the debate he had 19,658 new likes, for a total of 955,748.
2nd Place: Michele Bachmann. Prior to the debate, Bachmann had 326,225 likes. During and immediately after the debate she had 9,232 new likes, for a total of 335,457.
3rd Place: Ron Paul. Prior to the debate, Paul had 382,228 likes. During and immediately after the debate he had 8,717 new likes, for a total of 390,945.
So, even though Paul is ahead in Likes, Likester gave Bachmann the second place slot because of her overall percentage gain.
The remaining candidates (in order) were Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum.
While Likester successfully predicted the winner of American Idol a full six weeks before the finale, I have to wonder if the same can be said for the presidential race. I think the AI audience is more vocal, and more involved with social media, than many of the political voters. What do you think? Will social media predict the winner?