Monday, October 8, 2018

PA Election 2018: Will Facebook and Twitter Followings Predict Winners?

I have taken the plunge and bought a Domain name for this blog,  https://www.csiwithoutdeadbodies.com/.  For the time being I will stay with blogger to see how it influences the traffic I get.

I will focus my first post on the upcoming 2018 election looking at the candidate's social media followings.  In the 2016 election I looked at 9 races in Pennsylvania from Presidential to statewide to local races.  The candidate with the larger following on Facebook won eight of the nine races I looked at.  This year I will see how the social media following of their campaigns (not their official office pages) predict the winners.


Office
Party
Facebook Following
Twitter Following
US Senate




Lou Barletta
R
39290
36%
9021
Bob Casey
D
37787
52%
5664
Dale Kerns
L
4438

725
Neal Gale
G
205

40


The 2018 US Senate race is considered to be a safe one for incumbent Bob Casey.  Challenger Lou Barletta's Twitter and Facebook followings are larger but Casey's is leading comfortably in the polls.  Trump has campaigned for Barletta in the state because they have similar views on immigration. 


Governor
Party
Facebook Following
Twitter Following
Scott Wagner
R
171696
36.5
5537
Tom Wolf
D
114342
53.3
24879
Kenneth Krawchuck
L
2701
Paul Glover
G
1191
  
The other statewide race in Pennsylvania is the Governor's race.  Incumbent Tom Wolf has a sizeable lead in the polls and in his Twitter following but Scott Wagner has a lead in the Facebook following.


Congress
Party
Facebook Following
Twitter Following
15th District
Glenn Thompson
R
1203
2945
Susan Boser
D
1372
848
13th District
John Joyce
R
1527
400
Brent Ottaway
D
1068
376
17th District
Keith Rothfus
R
11847
40
2332
Conor Lamb
D
30035
53
84647

There are three congressional races that I am following which are near where I live.  The state supreme court has redrawn the districts to prevent gerrymadering.  In the 15th district which extends from Cambria county to the New York line, challenger Susan Boser has a slight lead in Facebook but incumbent Thompson has a lead in Twitter.  In the 13th District there is no incumbent.  Republican Dr. John Joyce has a lead over Brent Ottaway in Facebook and Twitter.  There is no public polling available for these two districts.  

There was one public poll taken in the 17th district in July for the race between Keith Rothfus and Conor Lamb.  Lamb won a close special election earlier this year but with redistricting now has to run against another incumbent.  The large social media followings of both candidates suggest a robust race with Lamb ahead.


State Senate
Party
Facebook Following
RCP Avg
Twitter Following
30th District
Judy Ward
R
1026
Emily Best
D
1105
451


There is one state Senate race in this area that I am following.  Republican Judy Ward is running against state rep. Emily Best for the 30th state senate district.  Best has a slight lead in her Facebook following.  I couldn't find a Twitter account for Ward.  


State House
Party
Facebook Following
RCP Avg
Twitter Following
72nd District
Gerald Carnicella
R
25
Frank Burns
D
1810
1408
71st District
Jim Rigby
R
35
Bryan Barbin
D
517
856


The last races that I am looking at are the state house races in the 71st and 72nd districts.  The incumbent democrats in both districts have leads in Twitter followings over their challengers.  Challengers Rigby and Carnicella do not have Facebook pages for thir campaigns.

Facebook no longer publicly provides data on the followings that their pages have.  Facebook has come under scrutiny for the role that they played in the last election.  It remains to be seen what role they will play in this year.  In this part of the country the #metoo movment is not likely to have an impact in getting women elected as there are three women candidates out of the 20 considered.

**Related Posts**


Cambridge Analytica was Behind the Results I Found on Facebook and the 2016 Election


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