Twitter and Facebook Help Election Candidates Win?

We’ve been noting the effect of social media on politics more and more lately and it really came into its own in the recent U.S. midterm elections with many news organizations covering events using social media. We also took a look at individual politicians’ use of sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Now an article by Jennifer Schlesinger over on ABC News has really looked into whether what was happening on Twitter and Facebook predicted in any way the election results. The answer is overwhelmingly yes. It seems that the more followers a politician has, the more likely they are to campaign successfully.

Figures show that in 71% of Senate elections, the candidate who was most “liked” on Facebook won. Twitter results showed even more accuracy as the candidate with most followers on Twitter won in 74% of cases. The figures also showed that even how much money a candidate had to spend on their campaign didn’t forecast the result as much as their following on Twitter or Facebook. For example Facebook found that in 42 of the Senate races, the person that won had more “likes” but spent less money on their campaign.

It certainly seems then that using social media to predict election results in the future is likely to become even more prominent. For more on this got to abcnews.go.com. What do you think of the ABC article and it’s analysis of the impact of social media on predicting outcomes in politics? We’d be interested to hear so please do send in those comments.