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While the Spread Was Much Larger in Social Media, The Candidate With the Most Voter Support In Social Media Won

It’s been an exciting day. Earlier our CTO, Ian Hersey was interviewed on Bloomberg to talk about our real-time social media voter tracking analytics that both Bloomberg and Yahoo! used on this election day.  Millions of users followed social sentiment on the election in the Yahoo! Control Room powered by Attensity.

As a follow-up to our prior posts on the election, we summarized the social sentiment and statements around voter intent to see if, in fact, social media can predict who would win an election.  What we’ve found all along, is that like most predictive and research tools, there is a margin of error.

The spread of voters who took to social media to say they either voted for or intended to vote for Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney today, was bigger than the actual spread of the vote.  But social media did pick the winner.

So did Barack Obama win the social voter?  Yes, by a margin. Now it does help that Obama has been on social media for years longer than the Republican candidate.  And you can see in this Twitter analysis that significantly more people  on Twitter said they would vote for Obama than Romney.  And they did.  So maybe social media is a leading indicator?

There are a lot of people using Twitter as a news source.  Tonight, Twitter hit a record based on an Obama campaign tweet.  The most re-tweeted tweet in the history of Twitter happened tonight. A tweet from the Obama campaign, essentially proclaiming victory and showing a photo of Mr. Obama hugging First-Lady Obama hit Twitter’s all time high.

So the ads, the speculation and the elections are over- phew!  It’s been fun to watch the elections through the lens of the social voter.