Can Facebook and Twitter predict the winner of political campaigns?

Here in San Pedro, we are in the middle of two very popular election campaigns. One is for fun and serves as a fundraiser for local non-profits, where San Pedroans will choose an "Honorary Mayor," while the other is a more consequential congressional campaign, a race for the 36th Congressional District Seat in Congress.

As many know, there are five local citizens that are vying for the Honorary Mayor of San Pedro position, a bi-annual event sponsored by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce which creates an opportunity for residents and business representatives to give back to the community. The winner is the person who simply raises the most money (kind of like real political campaigns)

Joe Buscaino, Joe Gatlin, Mitch Harmatz, Dave Martinez and Carla Negri will be responsible for collectively raising a lot of donations for worthy organizations in the community including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Los Angeles Harbor, Harbor Area Boosters Association, FRIENDS of Cabillo Marine Aquarium, Pedro Pet Pals, Barton Hill Neighborhood Organization, The Port of Los Angeles High School, The Relevant Stage, Toberman Neighborhood Center, The Grand Vision Foundation/Warner Grand Theater and fINdings Art Center.

The race for for the 36th Congressional District seat is up for grabs after former Representative, Jane Harman, announced that she would be resigning from Congress to become the head of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

There are five serious contenders for the position. Two democrats, Debra Bowen, current Secretary of State of California and Janice Hahn, member of the Los Angeles City Council representing the 15th District. On the republican side, Mike Webb, Mike Gin and Stephen Eisele are competing to represent.

In both of these elections, the fun and the serious, we can easily assume the winner using a very simple formula.

Which of the candidates has more fans/followers on Facebook and Twitter.

YES. That is the secret formula. Who is more popular.

This formula has existed since cavemen began to vote, however, never in history has it been so publicly visible and obvious.

I've done all the homework for you and am happy to announce the winners of both elections based on their social networking footprint.

The winner of the San Pedro Honorary Mayor contest is...... Joe Buscaino! Joe has 174 fans on his Facebook page dedicated to his run for honorary mayor.

While Dave Martinez has 114 fans on his Facebook page dedicated toward his run for honorary mayor, Mitch Harmatz has only 38. Carla Negri is not represented by a fan page and only has a personal profile with 71 friends. Joe Gatlin does not have either a fan page or profile page on Facebook. None of the candidates for honorary mayor have a twitter account.

The winner of CD36 election is........ Debra Bowen!

While Janice Hahn has 1,546 fans on her Facebook page and 855 followers on her Twitter feed, Debra Bowen has nearly four times more with 5,480 fans on her Facebook page and 4,102 followers on her Twitter feed.

Its true that Hahn received 57 percent of the California Democratic Party delegates who voted in an endorsement caucus this past Saturday, compared to 39 percent for Bowen, but the councilwoman did not win enough votes to achieve the 60 percent necessary to win the state party's endorsement.

The three republican candidates, Mike Webb, Mike Gin and Stephen Eisele all have less than 200 fans on Facebook and less than 100 on Twitter.

Although I write this in jest, it is a fact that a candidate's job is to get potential voters to "like" them. Modern day social networking helps us keep better score of who likes who.

The most successful politicians hit social networking hard.

@BarackObama has over 7,5000,000 followers on Twitter! @algore (Al Gore) has over 2,230,000 @SenJohnMcCain has over 1,700,000 @Schwarzenegger has over 2,000,000 @Villaraigosa (Antonio Villaraigosa) has 29,102.

California's Lieutenant and former San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) has 1,400,000 followers on Twitter. Do you think that will help him, the next time he runs for anything?

Do you value online social media as much as I do? Do you feel social media is required to accomplish even simple things like throw a party or invite people on a hike. Do you think the more friends, fans and followers you have, the more you can accomplish in life?

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Comment by Eddie North-Hager on April 5, 2011 at 7:17pm
and even then only 5 percent of the people would vote. NOT
Comment by Branimir Kvartuc on April 5, 2011 at 6:57pm

:) I wonder if in the future that really will be possible....true democracy???

 

Comment by Bernardo Alps on April 5, 2011 at 6:50pm
Nice! Let's save some money and have all elections on Facebook and Twitter. And why not on the News Pilot?

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