Making the online math work
With eight days to go, the math is definitely moving in the direction of the Romney/Ryan ticket. What was thought unfathomable several months ago looks to be possible in the closing days of the 2012 campaign season. The Republican ticket has advanced its message online via social media and is dominating the discussions on Facebook. In a race that will be decided by the candidate with the greatest level of momentum on election day, it’s encouraging to see acceleration on the part of the Romney/Ryan campaign. What has become glaringly obvious is just how much a liability Vice President Joe Biden is on the Obama re-election ticket in comparison to the power and professionalism that Ryan provides on the Romney slate.
In just the last 3 days, the Romney campaign continues to put great distance between itself and the president’s in the area of online engagement.
Latest data from Facebook since Oct. 23:
Mitt Romney is UP over 476,064 Likes
Barack Obama is UP just 181,906 Likes
Paul Ryan is UP over 46,379 Likes
Joe Biden is UP just 4,967 Likes
Engagement metrics on the Republican side document the tightening relationship between social media members and likely voters. Mitt Romney has over 31 percent of his base on Facebook “talking about the candidate.” In contrast, President Obama has a little over 10 percent of his base engaged in similar discussions. In pure numbers — engaged voters — Romney bests Obama by over 227,896 engaged members despite the fact that the president has over three times the number of “likes” as does Romney. One would have predicted that the president could have done much more to stimulate a larger portion of his base to be active online in these discussions. It appears, however, that 90 percent of the base is idle.
Conversely, Paul Ryan continues to be a rock star on the Republican ticket in terms of generating interest and enthusiasm online. Ryan has over 10 times the number of Facebook “likes” as opposed to Vice President Biden: 5,075,168 vs. 486,571; and nearly seven times the number of engaged social media followers: 1,383,007 vs. 202,908. Biden’s popularity has been sagging online since the vice presidential debate. The vice president, though, has been posting the most modest increase on Facebook of the entire campaign period.
The math that is working for the Republicans right now is the enthusiasm and engagement level of the combined Romney/Ryan ticket versus that of Obama/Biden. As of the latest reporting, the Republicans lead engaged Facebook followers by over 1.2 million members: 4.8 million to 3.6 million. This is yet another leading indicator of dramatically shifting momentum from the social media channel.
While this online data is a very encouraging sign, it is important to understand that Republicans could win the war, but still lose the battle. Ground troop efforts need to be obsessed with online activity in the swing states. Romney can only cover so much ground in the next 10 days. Ryan can only make so many stump speeches. The campaign needs to turn up the volume online and within the social media venues on a local level and keep the pressure on to continue turning the tide
We need all of the surrogates and those who want the Romney/Ryan ticket to win on election day to spend the next week sending emails and posting content on their local websites. Broadcast and legacy media won’t get the job done alone. It’s time for the Internet and social media to perform the way they were built to do.
On paper, the math can work only if we get the vote out on Election Day.