Showing posts with label Social Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Media. Show all posts

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Facebook and Twitter Primaries: Super Tuesday Update

Joe Biden had an impressive win in South Carolina yesterday.  The real test for the seven remaining candidates is Super Tuesday in two days with 14 states and two territories voting.  This gives a total of 1,242 pledged delegates at stake or 32% of the total pledged delegates.  I thought I would take a look at the state of the candidates social media following to see how it predicts their Real Clear Politics (RCP) national poll averages.  Super Tuesday is the closest thing to a national primary.  The numbers are below.

Candidate
Feb RCP Avg %
FB Following Feb
Twitter Following Feb
Twitter Audit Feb % Real Followers
Real Twitter Following
Sanders
                    29.6%
5,381,758
         10,866,483
                    67%
         7,280,544
Biden
                    18.8%
1,522,015
           4,208,280
                    85%
         3,577,038
Bloomberg
                    16.4%
901,054
           2,712,036
                    91%
         2,467,953
Warren
                    11.8%
3,371,232
           3,812,696
                    83%
         3,164,538
Buttigieg
                    11.0%
599,102
           1,753,062
                    92%
         1,612,817
Klobuchar
                      4.0%
316,936
               983,100
                    71%
             698,001
Steyer
                      2.6%
508,723
               305,605
                    95%
             290,325
Gabbard
                      1.4%
447,335
               791,422
                    95%
             751,851

Above we can see that Bernie Sanders leads in the polls nationally and in his Facebook and Twitter followings.  The Twitter audit column shows an estimate of the percentage to Twitter Followings are real (ie not bots). The last column shows the estimate or the real number of Twitter followers.  Bernie Sanders does have a low percentage of real followers but still leads in the overall number of real followers.  Tom Steyer is included even though he dropped out of the race yesterday.  The graph below shows how Twitter followings are associated with national support.  



The R squared statistics shows the percentage of the variability in the poll averages that is accounted by the variability in the twitter following.  This value is 0.8546 or 85%.  In January, this relationship accounted for 51% of the variability in the poll averages.  This was mostly due to Biden having high poll averages but low a Twitter following and to there being more candidates in the race.



When I limit the data to real twitter followers, the relationship with the RCP poll average becomes even stronger accounting for 91% of the variability in the RCP average.  If 100% of the variability were accounted for, all of the candidates would fall right on the line in the graph.



Looking at the relationship between the Facebook followings and the RCP averages, a weaker relationship that that with Twitter emerges.  Sixty-three percent of the variability is accounted for which is higher than the 42% in January.  These higher percentages in the Twitter and Facebook relationships suggest greater engagement by consumers of social media with the candidates and its potential influence on voters now that primaries are heating up.

Trump now has a following of 73,242,775 on Twitter (79% real) and 26,091,741 Facebook.  It remains to be seen what impact it will have on the general election.


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Friday, January 10, 2020

January Twitter and Facebook Primary Update


With the primary season heating up I thought I would give an update to the state of the twitter and Facebook primaries for the presidential candidates.  Above is a scatter plot showing the Twitter Followings of the candidates as of Wednesday, Jan 8 on the x axis and the January Real Clear Politics national poll averages as of the same day on the y axis.  

The graph shows the candidates close to the best fit straight line except for Cory Booker and Joe Biden.  In spite of these two outliers the regression model shows that 51.38% of the variability in the candidates' poll numbers is accounted for by their respective Twitter followings on their campaign accounts.  


Looking at the candidates Facebook page followings, a similar but weaker pattern emerges. Biden and Booker are still outliers but there is still a significant positive relationship accounting for 42.41% of the variability.  Interestingly Booker was the only candidate to have a net decrease in Facebook followers since September.  It remains to be seen how this translates to primary victories this spring.


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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Zuckerberg Mentor Denounces Facebook



In a follow up to my posts on social media and the upcoming elections I came across this interview on Democracy Now! with Roger McNamee.  He is an early mentor and investor of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.  He now says the company is a threat to US Democracy.  In the clip below he talks about how his warnings of Russian interference in the 2016 elections were ignored.  



It's hard to glean this kind of information from numbers but we can still see that something is awry.

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Twitter Audit of the Democratic Candidates: High % of Fake Accounts for Sanders and Bullock

I have been away for a while being swamped with teaching and working.  I finally have time to put a post together.  I though I would follow up my post on the 2020 Facebook Primary by looking at changes in the Twitter followings of the candidates and their poll averages.  

I looked at their twitter followings as of this Tuesday and the Real Clear Politics poll average also from Tuesday.  I also entered their twitter handles in to Twitteraudit to see what percentage of their followers are real.  The data is presented in the table at the bottom of the post.  


I also looked at how the candidates' followings were correlated with their October poll averages.  The variable that was most highly correlated with the poll averages was the change in the Twitter following since August accounting for 59% of the variability in the poll average.  This relationship is displayed in the chart above.  We see that Joe Biden and Andrew Yang are outliers.  Biden is because he still has high poll numbers with a lower change in Twitter following.  Yang is an outlier because he had the second highest increase in Twitter following but low poll numbers.

The Twitteraudit numbers showed that except for Biden, Sanders, and Bullock, The candidates had over 90% of their followers as real.  Biden had 89% of followers who were not bots, Sanders had 67%, and Bullock had 32%.  Back in December 2016 Twitteraudit had 92% of Sanders' followers as real.  I'm not sure what this means.  Could their Twitteraudit's algorithm have changed?  Are bots specifically targeting Sanders and Bullock?  Twitter and Facebook have made an effort to get rid of fake accounts.  The video below is 5 years old but shows how to spot fake accounts.  The spammers tricks have probably changed since then.



For comparison the man the Democrats want to replace, Donald Trump has 65,792,228 Twitter Followers, 78% of which are real.  My account (@CSIwoDB) has 1,169 followers, 99% are real according to Twitteraudit.

Candidate
Aug Poll Avg %
FB Following
Twitter following
Oct Poll Avg %
Twitter Oct
Twitter Audit % Real
chg Twitter
chg poll %
Biden
28.9
 1,487,733
 3,706,982
29.4
3,868,550
89%
161,568
0.50
Warren
16.5
 3,281,315
 3,087,005
23.4
3,358,378
93%
271,373
6.90
Sanders
17.1
  5,104,561
 9,619,000
15.6
9,800,784
67%
181,784
-1.50
Buttigieg
4.6
     441,495
 1,396,792
5.2
1,473,634
94%
  76,842
0.60
Harris
7
  1,148,762
3,090,636
5.2
3,188,418
92%
  97,782
-1.80
O'Rourke
2.4
     916,711
1,565,273
2.6
1,640,827
95%
  75,554
0.20
Yang
2.5
     178,036
   747,425
2.4
932,940
96%
185,515
-0.10
Klobuchar
0.9
     258,582
   755,517
1.6
778,167
91%
  22,650
0.70
Booker
2.4
  1,192,725
4,344,745
1.6
4,371,266
91%
  26,521
-0.80
Castro
1.1
     141,257
   379,882
1
403,141
92%
  23,259
-0.10
Gabbard
1.4
     377,434
   542,790
0.8
591,416
95%
  48,626
-0.60
Bullock
0.8
       32,231
   185,238
0.6
186,470
37%
    1,232
-0.20
Williamson
0.8
     814,883
2,759,880
0.6
2,761,336
95%
    1,456
-0.20

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