Rob Coleman

Social Media’s Super Tuesday Predictions

In Election, Social Media on March 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Can social media predict an election? Super Tuesday is tomorrow, and the folks at SocialMatica.com are examining this possibility.

The notion being tested here is that by measuring the influence of each Republican candidate in the social media realm, we can identify the winner. In short, Buzz=Votes. It will be interesting to see whether this is indeed any type of predictor, or whether it offers better accuracy than the traditional polling.

Are people more likely to discuss a candidate on social media if they intend to vote for the candidate? Probably so, but can that lead us to forecast an election? Color me skeptical, especially given that Rick Santorum isn’t predicted to finish in the top two in any state on Super Tuesday. That flies in the face of all the polls. But regardless, as a case study in social media, I’ll enjoy seeing the actual results.

Here are the Super Tuesday predictions from SocialMatica and Real Clear Politics, which offers the results of many traditional polls:

SOCIALMATICA

Mitt Romney will win all states but Georgia, where Newt Gingrich claims victory on his home turf. Ron Paul will finish second in every state but Georgia, where Romney finishes runner-up to Gingrich. Santorum and Gingrich slug it out for third and fourth in every state outside of Georgia.

If you’re looking for a potential upset, look to North Dakota, where Paul’s buzz is oh so close to Romney’s.

REAL CLEAR POLITICS

The polls are tight, and recent polls are only available for the largest of the states. Let’s break it down for Tuesday’s biggest prizes.

Ohio: Romney and Santorum are in a statistical dead heat in all the polls, with Romney leading in two and Santorum leading in two. No lead is larger than 3%.

Georgia: Gingrich holds a commanding lead (by 18.8%) over Romney, with Santorum trailing in third place, 5% behind Romney.

Tennessee: Romney, Santorum and Gingrich are in a three-way statistical dead heat. Santorum leads in two out of three polls, with 5% being his largest margin.

I’ll check back in later in the week with the Super Tuesday results and we’ll see if SocialMatica is on to something and Mitt Romney completes a Super Sweep beyond Georgia.

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