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Facebook Predicts the 2012 Presidential Election

Written by: Jennie White, Marketing Associate

Both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney have had strong presences on social networks during 2012’s campaign trail, and especially on Facebook. Not only does each candidate and their respective running mates maintain active fan Pages, both Obama and Romney have run Facebook ads to get their voices out to Americans, leveraging ad units like Sponsored Stories on desktop and mobile.

With voters from across the country heading to the polls tomorrow, we turned to our Ad Engine to understand Americans’ interest in the candidates on Facebook.

First, let’s break down the map above, which represents a state-by-state breakdown of American interest in Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Blue represents states where there is greater Facebook interest in Obama, and red represents states where there is greater interest in Romney. For example, the battleground state of Ohio is blue because more people in that state are interested in Obama than Romney on Facebook. Judging by this breakdown, Romney leads Obama on Facebook in 27 states while Obama leads in 24 states.  How would these state wins translate into Electoral Votes? We turned to the CNN Electoral Map, and Obama comes out in the lead with 314 votes, while Romney has 224.

While Romney leads in the state count, Obama leads in overall reach on Facebook by 20%, as shown by our next graph below.

Here, we compared the overall interest on Facebook of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, Michelle Obama, and Ann Romney against one another. We found it somewhat interesting that First Lady Michelle Obama has a higher reach than Paul Ryan and Ann Romney combined!

With a sense of individual state interest in candidates and their overall reach on Facebook, we were next curious about the demographic composition of people interested in each candidate. As you can see from the pie charts, 62% of those interested in Obama are female and 38% are male while 47% of those interested in Romney are male and 53% are female.

As for age composition, Obama has more interest from younger Americans than Romney on Facebook. 50% of Obama’s interest base is between the ages of 21-40 while 38% of Romney’s is.

Are you surprised by the map and data above? What do you think of Facebook’s role in the upcoming election? Let us know in the comments and make sure to vote tomorrow!

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