Facebook Predicted Most Key Races


Facebook popularity is a pretty good indicator of popularity at the polls: the social network just established itself as the new pulse of the electorate.

Candidates' Facebook fans were indeed a good indicator of election results.

Yes, this means that candidates will be paying a lot of attention to their online profiles. But it also has a much bigger message about how public Americans are willing to be about their political affiliations.

Politics is no longer a taboo subject—Americans are increasingly comfortable declaring their affiliations in front of their hundred closest acquaintances and colleagues. And as millenials become a larger part of the electorate, we can only expect more of the political conversation to happen on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Here's the Facebook data:

Of the 98 House races tracked by Facebook, the candidate with more "Fans" won 74 percent of the time. Five races are still too close to call. Of the 34 Senate races Facebook tracked the stats are even higher: 82 percent of Senate winners had more Facebook fans than their opponents.

Your Money Your Vote - A CNBC Special Report
Your Money Your Vote - A CNBC Special Report

The most popular Senate candidate on Facebook — Marco Rubio, with 132,000 fans, won the hotly-contested race and thanked his supporters. Thousands and thousands of fans responded with comments on the wall post. But perhaps no surprise, the losers haven't been as active on Facebook. The majority of Senate candidates who lost haven't interacted with supporters-- no thanks, no Facebook equivalent of a concession speech.

But Facebook is far from a perfect predictor: there are some very notable exceptions. Florida Democrat Alan Grayson had 30,000 to opponent Daniel Webster's 4,600 fans. But Webster won and more than 500 of his supporters posted congratulatory messages on Webster's wall.

If this data sends any message to future candidates it's this: Don't skimp on your Facebook interactions. Voters count on it, they'll communicate back, and that online interaction really matters when it comes to election day.

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