A Politician’s Facebook Friends a Bellwether of Electoral Success?

By  |  Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Facebook seems to think that if you’re a politician running for political office, the number of friends you have may correlate to your electoral success. In statistics provided by the social networking site on Wednesday, it found that among 98 hotly contested races, in 69 of them the winner also had more friends than the losing candidate.

In the Senate, the correlation appears even more strong: in the 34 races in which a winner had been declared, 28 of them also won the Facebook friends rate. Such evidence may point to the increasing power of social networking when it comes to voter outreach, and more importantly “GOTV” (Get Out The Vote) efforts.

While I used Facebook in my own run for local office — it was such a tiny sample that I can’t really speak from experience that it actually worked to help me win. What I can say is that I certainly believe my online presence — even for a hyperlocal political office like borough councilman — certainly helped me to get the word out.

Either way, in an age where political campaigns are becoming ever more expensive, and probably even more so in the wake of the Citizens United decision, GOTV efforts through social networking become a quick and inexpensive way of getting the word out.

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  1. Stilgar Says:

    Kudos for using the word bellwether in your headline, but I would have been more impressed if you used haymaker. A Politician’s Facebook Friends a Haymaker of Electoral Failure? 😉