Social media activity during the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention soared, but was still outdone by the Presidential Debate. The Presidential Debate was the most tweeted event in U.S. political history. The debate produced a record-breaking total of 10.3 million tweets in 90 minutes. The moments that created the most Twitter activity included: moderator Jim Lehrer responding ‘Let’s not’ when Romney requested a topic, Obama joking that, ‘I had five seconds’ when Lehrer gave the time limit, and discussion about Medicare and vouchers. Also, Romney’s “Big Bird” comment became a trending topic.
Fox News said that Romney was the debate’s winner in terms of Twitter activity. There were 47,141 tweets mentioning Romney and “win or winner” in comparison to 29,677 tweets mentioning Obama and “win or winner.” Romney was also tweeted more in key states including Florida, Ohio, Nevada and Colorado.
The day after the debate trending topics on Twitter include #ForwardNotBack, #debate2012, and Romney. I was surprised that “Obama” wasn’t a trending topic as well. However, after doing some research I noticed that the “Romney” trending topic also included “negative” tweets such as “Romney gave ‘a very vigorous performance but one that was devoid of honesty,” “Fact check: Romney‘s debate performance was filled with fiction and falsehoods,” and “Romney told 27 lies in 38 minutes last night, no wonder I couldn’t keep up.” So is this to say that Romney “won” the convention in terms of social media?
During the debate, Facebook and Twitter news feeds were constantly updated with new statuses and tweets, often quoting the candidates. People publicly displayed their political views to their friends and followers. Social media has opened the doors to a second debate among friends and followers. People are able to comment and like eachother’s statuses about the debate.
However, years ago people often kept their political views to themselves as it was a “taboo” subject. No one asked who you were going to vote for. Today through social media you gain an idea of who the person is going to vote for based on their tweets and Facebook statuses, which is supposed to be a personal decision.
More importantly, are trends in social media an indication of who is going to win the election? I guess we will have to wait and see.