Who’s Leading the Election on Social Media + Live Coverage!

by Eric Melin on November 6, 2012

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Today is the day we Americans choose our President. Not only has social media monitoring and nonstop mobile Internet connectivity given us many more ways to measure the pulse of the nation, it’s also starting to change the way view the results and the method by which we actually vote.

After Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has decided to allow displaced NJ residents to vote using “a mail-in ballot application either by email or fax to their county clerk.” The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) already allows email voting, but only with the use of a mailed-in signed affadavit.

Who’s Leading on Twitter?

The two biggest social networks have their own measurements of their users. The Twitter Political Index (here’s how Twitter analyzes its data) currently shows Obama up by 10 over Romney.

However, last night, the Twindex, as its been nicknamed, gave Romney the lead in seven out of 10 swing states, including Ohio: (Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa.) On Twitter, Obama has the lead in four swing states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, North Carolina. The full “swing state” Twindex chart is here. 4:20pm CST UPDATE: The Twitter Political Index is now saying positive sentiment for each candidate is split evenly with Obama winning Ohio.

Who’s Leading on Facebook?

According to data provided to CNN by Facebook, the election is dominating all chatter today. As of 10am CST this morning, the four terms or phrases used most in posts and comments from users in the United States are: vote, Obama, Romney, and election. Facebook is working with CNN, who is publishing their 2012 Election Facebook Insights page, and this chart shows that Obama is sparking more conversation than Romney in all but 12 states.

But as Stephen Colbert taught us, volume by itself means nothing. My argument against this “Facebook Insight” being valuable at all would be that Obama is the incumbent and this election is a referendum on his performance during the last four years. Of course his name will be used more on Facebook, because it’s being used by both sides of the conversation. Unless we can identify the context and sentiment surrounding this conversation, this volume data means nothing.

Where Can I See Live Online Election Coverage?

Sure, the big cable news networks will be covering the election all day and night, but if you need your online fix, there is no shortage of web-based outlets with live coverage to choose from.

  • YouTube’s Election Hub will be live streaming results.
  • CNN’s live results map will cover the Presidential race, as well as the Senate, House, and Governor races.
  • CNN also has a 2012 Election Day Twitter stream featuring live updates from its correspondents across the country on Twitter.
  • Ustream has a list of 12 outlets, from PBS to CBS to the Wall Street Journal, that are live streaming video Election Day 2012 coverage today.
  • Foursquare has a live map of polling place check-ins across the United States, with data broken up by gender and time of vote.
  • NBC is partnering with Instagram for a live photo-sharing map of election-related photos called Electiongrams.
  • HuffPost Live‘s video coverage is powered by Google Hangouts. meaning users can chime in with their own live videochat.
  • Facebook has a live map so you can see who is voting in real-time, but not who they are voting for.

Google Hangouts on HuffPost LIveWhere else are you following the election today?

Leave your links and comments below!

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