- Trump-Russia conspiracy theorists think they’ve found secrets in the Mueller report 5 Months Ago
- Report: YouTube is done competing with Netflix, Amazon 5 Months Ago
- Netflix drama ‘Coisa Mais Linda’ explores Bossa Nova clubs and women’s rights in Brazil Today 8:08 AM
- The best ‘Game of Thrones’ memes to get you pumped for season 8 Today 7:30 AM
- Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen) vs Google Home Hub: Which is better? Today 7:00 AM
- Solange sings along to Ariana Grande on Instagram Stories—and fans are obsessed Today 6:37 AM
- How to stream the entire ’30 For 30′ series for free Today 6:30 AM
- Swipe This! My happiest Facebook Memories are making me miserable Today 6:30 AM
- Musketeers: Welcome to the global Elon Musk fan network Today 6:00 AM
- Lawsuit alleges YouTube’s unboxing videos are ‘abusive’ ads aimed at kids Sunday 3:48 PM
- Dr. Dre shades Lori Loughlin with Instagram flex about his daughter getting into USC Sunday 3:13 PM
- University of Georgia frat’s racist Snapchat video draws campus outrage Sunday 1:21 PM
- Facing criticism for eating fish, vegan YouTube star Rawvana speaks out Sunday 10:47 AM
- Arnold Schwarzenegger chases mini-pony in new TikTok video Sunday 9:19 AM
- Review: ‘Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’ is a cut above the rest Sunday 8:00 AM
‘Kavanaugh bump’ led to social media boost for Republican candidates, report claims
The White House/Flickr (Public Domain)
As the American midterm elections approach, a new report reveals Republican candidates saw a “Kavanaugh bump” in social media interactions after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, according to the New York Times.
Both Democrat and Republican candidates received a spike in Facebook engagement after Dr. Ford came forward, but Republican interactions in particular soared from Sept. 23 to Oct. 7, the report claims. Engagement rose by 64 percent across Republican Senate candidates’ Facebook pages during the week of Sept. 30, whereas Democrats saw just a 30 percent increase, the Times reports.
“Republicans in toss-up races may have benefited even more from the Kavanaugh effect,” the Times notes. “Among the nine most competitive Senate races, interactions on Facebook for Republicans rose by 94 percent during the week of Sept. 30. Interactions for Democrats in those races remained flat.”
Democrats shouldn’t despair, however. Over a 30-day period on Facebook, Democratic candidates fighting for seats in the U.S. Senate received a combined total of 10 million interactions, whereas Republican candidates received a meager 2.2 million. Democratic House of Representatives candidates, on the other hand, experienced a grand total of 3.5 million Facebook interactions over Republicans’ 1.5 million.
Generally speaking, Democrats performed better than Republicans in races for the U.S. House of Representatives, whereas Republican candidates received more Facebook interactions for particularly tight races for gubernatorial campaigns and the Senate.
Democrats also appear to have a “superstar problem,” where candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) saw the lion’s share of Facebook engagement. Meanwhile, the remaining Senate candidates received a combined 1.4 million Facebook interactions.
While recording a candidate’s total Facebook interactions can tell Americans more about a politician’s popularity (or lack thereof), the Times stresses that the report “does not distinguish” between whether engagement is positive, negative, or neutral. This means it’s hard to tell whether the “Kavanaugh bump” is a positive or negative phenomenon for Republicans.
“A negative comment left on a Republican candidate’s page by an angry Democrat would still count as an interaction, for example,” the Times explains. “In addition, it does not account for the fact that some candidates have more followers than others.”
As for whether social media actually matters, political strategists stress not to pay too close attention to what happens on social media.
“Retweets don’t vote,” Jonathan Strauss from the progressive PAC Swing Left said to the Times. “All of this social engagement is really just a proxy for the results that matter, which is what happens at the polls on Nov. 6.”
- What every American should know about the Senate Judiciary Committee
- Trump impeachment: Here are the odds Trump leaves office early
- Understanding the 25th Amendment, the unlikely path to removing Trump from office
H/T New York Times
Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.