The impact of Social Media is cited everywhere these days, but one of the more interesting places to examine it is in the presidential campaigns. Lexalytics has put out a site Political Trends which tracks the candidates in the blogosphere. Taking a really deep dive into the analysis of these blogs yields some fascinating information. Some of the more obvious ones are:
- Any news is good news
- Mainstream news drives the discussion topics
Any news is good news is interesting in that blogs show a very high correlation between how much coverage a candidate receives and how negative that coverage is. Basically, if your a front runner they paint a target on your back and start going after you. This gets more interesting when you did below these fairly obvious trends in the data and look for the patterns that aren’t obvious. The most interesting of these was the unexpected shift in campaign strategies between the two parties in the week leading up to the Iowa caucuses. The republican candidates seemed to ratchet up the negativity in their ads and this was clearly reflected in the amount of negative coverage for all of the republican candidates, while the democrats seemed to shift to more issues based campaigns in that final week, and it showed in less negativity for all of the democratic candidates.