Republicans kickin’ it on Facebook

Caroline May | Reporter

Political candidates this election cycle have taken to various social media outlets in droves to get out their messages and to communicate with their supporters.

The team at Facebook has been monitoring the activities of political candidates and tallying the numbers of their supporters. By most measures, Republicans are garnering far more support than Democrats this year.

According to a recent Facebook count, the generic Republican fan page has nearly three times the number of fans as the Democratic fan page (Democratic fans – 1,362,607, Independent fans – 48,426, Republican fans – 3,324,944).

Republicans are also dominating the candidate ratings by number of fans. Of the top ten candidates determined by fan count, only two are Democratic candidates.

Currently, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is leading the pack with 713,352 fans (and a .04 percent daily growth rate), followed by Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer with 342,139 fans (and a .08 percent daily growth rate), and California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman in third place with 181,940 (and a 2.5 percent daily growth rate).

The list of the fastest growing candidate fan pages shows more mixed results. Of the ten fastest growing candidate pages, four are Democratic candidates and six are Republican candidates.

With a growth rate of 4,440 fans per day, Whitman’s fan page is growing fastest. New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo’s page follows with a growth rate of 4,342 fans per day, and Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle places third with a growth rate of 1,046 fans per day.

The Facebook team has also highlighted the candidates who are gaining the most momentum — measured by the “largest increase in fans since last week.” All five are Republicans: Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, Florida Republican House candidate Allen West, New Jersey Republican House candidate Jon Runyan, Virginia Republican House candidate Keith Fimian, and New York Republican House candidate Mike Grimm.

The folks at Facebook are making a concerted effort to increase their site’s political relevance. “We encourage others to delve deeper into the data to identify trends and issues,” the company wrote in a release. “One blog, AllFacebook.com, has used some of our data to create a visualization of competitive House, Senate and Gubernatorial races across the country.”

If Facebook’s numbers are any indication, Republicans will have much to celebrate next Tuesday.

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