The best social media metric for predicting elections has been share of voice… the ratio of mentions between candidates. In the past week, ~168K tweets (76%) mentioned Ed Gillespie, while only ~53K mentioned Ralph Northam (24%). Leaving aside the sentiment of these tweets, many of which are negative comments about each candidate, the data shows, once again, that Republicans are much more effective on social media than Democrats at generating buzz for their candidates.

If Democrats hope to win over Republicans in upcoming elections, they MUST be much more proactive at engaging people on social media. They MUST use social media to reach out to the voters they want to turnout and persuade. They MUST mobilize their supporters to post about them and to share/retweet each other.

Republicans are enhancing their efforts with bots, sure, but they are also using networks of GOP activists coordinating their efforts in Twitter rooms and via other channels (email, Facebook groups,, etc.). This cannot be countered with press releases and media interview. It must be matched and exceeded by large volumes of social media buzz.