Big Data

Obama's Facebook fans love Michelle; Romney's love winning

Timur Emek/AP

The top-line Facebook numbers look pretty good for Barack Obama: nearly 32 million likescompared with 12 million for Mitt Romney.

Of course, Facebook "likes" don't equal votes, and with a younger base of support you'd expect to see more Facebook activity for Obama, so that gap may not tell us all that much about this race. But dig a little deeper into the Facebook data and two very different pictures emerge of who these 32 million and 12 million are, and what it is about their candidate-of-choice that speaks to them.

This is the conclusion of some pretty wonderful data scraping and analysis by Deen Freelon, a professor at American University. Freelon captured all of the likes, comments, and shares on Obama and Romney's Facebook pages between April 25 (the day the RNC officially endorsed Romney) and November 2. He then looked in the data for the posts that received the most likes/shares/comments, searching for the types of content that most resonated with supporters. He found that Obama supporters tended to go wild for (as measured by "likes") anything sentimental about the president's family, while Romney fans were more focused on the campaign itself -- "liking" posts that trumpeted its strength.

Read more at The Atlantic

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// October 22
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