Skip to main content

Facebook Elections: Republicans Look Set for a Big Day

All the political prognosticating of election season comes down to today as Americans cast their votes, and if Facebook is any indication, the predictions of a big day for Republicans seem spot on.

An unofficial Facebook blog called All Facebook has been tracking the "fan," or "like" counts for candidates' Facebook pages across the country.

As of this writing, the Democratic Party's candidates have 1.44 million fans, while the GOP's have 3.46 million fans. (Independents have just 51,000 fans.)

These numbers heading into the midterm elections are even starker for Democrats than official polls from organizations such as Gallup, whose latest data finds a generic Republican candidate preferred by likely voters over a generic Democratic candidate by 55 to 40 percent.

As for individual races, All Facebook shows Democrats winning or retaining Senate seats in 10 states and the Republicans doing the same in 26 states, based on candidates' head-to-head fan counts. The House and the gubernatorial races skew about two-to-one in favor of the GOP as well.

The midterm candidate with the most Facebook fans is John McCain (R-AZ) with 716,325, belying the results of the 2008 presidential election where McCain took a drubbing from Barack Obama. (Obama, for his part, has 15.4 million fans.)

Interestingly, candidates favored by the Tea Party are very popular on Facebook. Six of the top 10 candidates fan count-wise on Facebook has ties to the populist movement, including current Ariz. Governor Jan Brewer, Congresswoman Michelle Bachman (R-MN) and Senate candidates Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Sharron Angle (Nev.).

Demographic polling of the Tea Party movement has generally found it to be older than the population as a whole – not exactly who you would think would be very keyed in to the social network.

•    How to Avoid Midterm Election Malware •    Facebook Privacy Questioned by House of Representatives •    Top Reasons for Being Unfriended on Facebook

Adam Hadhazy
Adam Hadhazy is a contributing writer for Live Science and Space.com. He often writes about physics, psychology, animal behavior and story topics in general that explore the blurring line between today's science fiction and tomorrow's science fact. Adam has a Master of Arts degree from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College. When not squeezing in reruns of Star Trek, Adam likes hurling a Frisbee or dining on spicy food. You can check out more of his work at www.adamhadhazy.com.