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Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney Win GOP Debate According to Likester

Can they predict the nominee?

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The first Republican Presidential Debate to feature all of the candidates was held last night in New Hampshire. Two notable things happened last night – It was the debate premiere of early front-runner Mitt Romney and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann used her opening statements to declare her official candidacy.

Apart from these two events, the seven candidates talked health care, immigration, abortion, gay marriage and the whole range of topics one would expect in a televised debate. CNN broadcast the debate and host John King ended every segment with what he called a “this or that” question. We learned that Tim Pawlenty favors Coke over Pepsi and former Godfather’s pizza chair Herman Cain prefers Chicago-style deep dish to NY-style thin crust.

With all personal politics aside, any early presidential debate, of either party, serves as a barometer for public opinion. It gives voters an initial glimpse at the candidates and shapes the media narrative for the upcoming campaign. It’s impossible to predict the outcome of the primary right now but “global popularity engine” Likester is at it again, this time tackling the 2012 elections.

Likester is a startup that analyzes Facebook data, specifically “likes,” to determine popularity trends across the social channel. This year they hosted “Likester Idol,” where each week they analyzed changes in the amount of Facebook likes for each contestant and made elimination predictions based on those results. They had a pretty good prediction record and ended up picking Scotty McCreery as the winner six weeks before the finale.

This time, Likester is looking to predict something “more meaningful,” they say. Their goal is to predict the eventual 2012 Republican nominee, and they kicked off their analysis with last night’s debate results.

The post debate analysis is in! All seven declared major Republicans were present, and the results of the data is below. We plan on updating this page bi-weekly, so please check back every few weeks for the latest.

So who won the debate according to Likester? Mitt Romney, as he garnered 19,658 new likes on Facebook from his performance. He is the overall like leader with just under 1 million. Michele Bachmann, who ranks 3rd in overall likes, finished second by gaining 9,232 new likes. Ron Paul, who ranks 2nd in overall likes, finished 3rd in the debate by adding 8,717 new likes.

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The remaining candidates finished 4th – 7th in the following order: Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum.

Of course, a presidential primary may be a little tougher to predict than American Idol, but it’s possible that social media clout will play a huge role in determining the winner. Facebook played such a huge part in the 2008 election, there is no reason to think that popularity on the social media site won’t be an indicator of the outcome of this race.

Who do you think won the debate? Who looked like a strong candidate? Romney, Pawlenty, Bachmann? Or did no candidate look good at all? Let us know what you think.

Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney Win GOP Debate According to Likester
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  • David

    I think the whole debate system is flawed instead of a debate the anchor should be ask the candidates a question from the audience and EACH candidate be given two to three minutes to give their point of view. That way specifics can be mentioned instead of the rough summaries that these presidential hopefuls are forced to spew out. Also, I want to know what Cain’s allegiance might be to the Federal Resever since congressman Paul is so vehemently opposed to it. I would also like to see Gary Johnson in the next debate because I think he is the most unfairly overlooked candidate in this election process. If he can leave his state of New Mexico with a surplus by the time he the governor’s office as well as run a successful small business and leave with a %50 + approval rating then he deserves some recognition.

  • Aldo

    The only candidate that made any sense was Ron Paul. A resource-based economy is the only way to go. No way in hell is it mathematically possible to pay the US debt. We need to start thinking about how to move into an entire new monetary system, and Ron Paul is the only one willing to admit it this early on.

  • http://bestbuycoupons2011.com Dan I

    Ron Paul makes the most sense to me.

  • Mad Monty

    Debates are nothing more than popularity contests. That’s all Americans are looking for anymore. No difference between American politics and American Idol. A candidate’s ability to smoothly answer the question should be irrelevant. What should be relevant is the candidate’s ability to understand the proper role of government, and the voter’s ability to identify that. That role is to protect you from me and me from you, and to leave us otherwise to be free. Something very few Americans can comprehend anymore, and something our public school unions won’t allow to be taught. Get ready for WWIII after the current Great Depression 2.0.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      Preach on, brother. Preach on. Too bad not enough people are listening.

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