Data hounds, social media gurus and politicos have a new favorite website to keep track of the 2012 presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Launched by three University of Cincinnati students, Twipolitico has more information about the “Twitter Primary” than you could ever imagine.
Created by three computer engineering students—Chris Nixon, Jorge Moscat and Yemi Oyediran—the website shows the presidential race in vivid detail as it plays out on Twitter. The site gathers and analyzes twitter data to determine the positivity or negativity of tweets over time. All of this is updated constantly for perhaps the most complete and detailed picture of the 2012 race on social media.
For example, according to the site, President Obama is trending downward overall—in other words, most tweets about him over time have been negative.
The site itself notes that Twitter can't answer all questions, and that the available data isn't always right, (even if it is a very good source of what the Twitter nation is thinking). For example, even if Twitter had an overall positive reaction to Obama’s support of gay marriage, pollsters have said it may hurt the president politically.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the website, and one that really demonstrates the disconnect between Twitter and reality, is the maps section, which shows the state in which each candidate is surging.
That’s especially evident in Montana, where Twipolitico shows Obama trending upwards. That might lead you to assume the President is rather popular in Big Sky Country. Yet it’s highly unlikely that he'll take the state's three electoral votes in November. Why the discrepancy? It’s likely that younger communities in the state, such as Missoula, a college town, are more likely to use Twitter and also skew liberal.
Either way, Twipolitico is a website worth keeping an eye on.
Image via Twipolitico