President Obama Won the Twitter Vote and it Wasn’t Even Close

    November 7, 2012
    Josh Wolford

Post-election demographic analysis is always interesting, or always dull and pointless depending on who you ask. I’m sure you’ve seen people breakdown which candidate won the Latino vote, the youth vote, the Catholic vote, the Union vote, and so on and so forth.

But another interesting vote that deserves a look is the Twitter vote. Which candidate had more Twitter shoutouts proclaiming that they were voted for?

Obama. Big time.

MIT has a new tool called “ivoted,” and it serves one purpose – to track mentions of “I voted for …” on the social network.

According to the final tally, Obama garnered 66% of the Twitter user vote (49,608) compared to Romney’s 34% (24,255). Here’s the final map which shows the heaviest Twitter support for Obama in Vermont, and the most neutral state to be Arkansas.

Twitter election MIT map

Of course, there are plenty of tweets that could contain the phrase “I voted for Obama” or “I voted for Romney” and actually be anti-said candidate. For instance, “Anyone who says ‘I voted for Romney’ is an idiot.” That person probably didn’t vote for Romney. Glancing at the tweets, there seems to be a little of this going on on both sides.

There’s also the problem of tweets that mention both Obama and Romney. In response that that, the ivoted mods had this to say:

“Basic keyword screening is not perfect. And in that regard, we took a relatively conservative approach by dropping all tweets containing BOTH candidates’ names. So our observation is that people tend to include the name of the candidate they voted for.”

There’s also hope that the tool will be even more valuable in future elections:

“We are working to improve the algorithms for more interesting features after election. This is our first time to build a realtime reporting system,” says the creators.

[h/t BuzzFeed]