There is no doubt that social media is certainly enabling the campaigns to measure the volume of political discourse in a way it hasn’t been able to do before. Social media also enables people to extend their discussions beyond just the people they see around the water cooler. Since the start of the televised 2012 presidential debates, the social buzz has been immense.
According to Eleanor Dowling writing for social research firm, Bluefin Labs:
The second presidential debate generated 12.24 million social media comments – 11.7M tweets and 572K public Facebook posts. This makes it the #3 most social TV event of all time, across all programming genres. It just barely overtook Super Bowl XLVI, which had 12.20 million comments. The first presidential debate garnered 11.2M comments.
The audience question to Romney on immigration generated 109,560 tweets per minute (TPM) followed closely by President Obama’s comment to Romney, ”You’re the last person to get tough on China” (108,619 TPM). The Associated Press reported that “women dominated the social media conversation about the debate. Some 54 percent of comments came from women, 46 percent from men.”
Does all of the chatter mean that more people are engaged in the process? Is social media reaching people in ways that traditional TV and radio ads don’t? Honestly, just like the presidential election itself, it’s too soon to tell.
One thing is certain, social media users have one more opportunity to light up cyberspace. The last debate between President Obama and Governor Romney will take place at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday October 22. If you missed any of the two previous presidential debates or the vice presidential debate, you can find links to the full debate videos at 2012 Election Central.
Image Credit: Shutterstock /Rafal Olechowski