Twitter Primary Prelims


This list of prospective major-party candidates for the 2016 Presidential race includes Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for comparative purposes. Some have already made public announcements of “exploratory” activity. Many have traveled to Iowa and New Hampshire, and committed lots of time to fundraising. Others are the subject of active speculation by journalists or energetic draft movements.

If you think your name should be added, tweet to @aimspoll.

NameHandle Followers Tweets Volume Traction Party
Barack Obama@BarackObama54800000131007178804183Dem
Hillary Clinton@HillaryClinton280000012334422764Dem
Donald Trump@realDonaldTrump27900002290063891122Rep
Mitt Romney@MittRomney1620000144323381123Rep
Sarah Palin@SarahPalinUSA113000024912815454Rep
Joe Biden@JoeBiden7430001082804687Dem
Marco Rubio@marcorubio68100018661271365Rep
Paul Ryan@PRyan6390005683631125Rep
Rand Paul@SenRandPaul54100033091790163Rep
Chris Christie@GovChristie5040007006353172Rep
Allen West@AllenWest3640002500910146Rep
Mike Huckabee@GovMikeHuckabee3520004204148084Rep
Carly Fiorina@CarlyFiorina3440002397825144Rep
Ted Cruz@tedcruz3380008511287740Rep
Ben Carson@RealBenCarson288000808233356Rep
Bernie Sanders@SenSanders26700011400304423Dem
Rick Santorum@RickSantorum227000438599552Rep
Jeb Bush@JebBush1610001144184141Rep
John Bolton@AmbJohnBolton1590001313209121Rep
Elizabeth Warren@elizabethforma124000129516196Dem
Scott Walker@ScottWalker95200575354817Rep
Lindsey Graham@GrahamBlog68100374325518Rep
John Kasich@JohnKasich66900424028416Rep
Martin O'Malley@GovernorOMalley58400100005846Dem
Rick Perry@TeamRickPerry3450086582994Rep
Bobby Jindal@BobbyJindal2100019404111Rep
Peter King@RepPeteKing1930019693810Rep
George Pataki@GovernorPataki18700281567Rep
Mike Pence@mike_pence5995130485Rep
Jim Webb@JimWebbUSA5007226122Dem

Twitter Primary, mid-February 2015

Volume = (Followers * Tweets) / 1,000,000.
Traction = Followers / Tweets.

Being willing and able to dominate the number of tweets heard in the world is certainly a distinctive status. It’s intriguing that Donald Trump’s success in that metric is so formidable. But winning on Twitter volume alone isn’t the way to win the presidency. And it’s certainly not a reason to deserve to win.

Horse-race analysis is highly esteemed in American political journalism, but it can also be a weapon of mass distraction. So it’s fair to ask how data like this, superficial as it may seem, advances AimsPoll’s overall mission… facilitating voter-friendly discussions of substantive priorities, specific plans, and guiding values.  The answering is that it opens an investigation into which candidates are most serious about using Twitter to engage in public discussions of priorities, plans, and values.

Some key performance metrics of the Twitter Primary aren’t shown here… yet. These would include candidate’s own original tweets that are germane to the election… links to position papers, videos of speeches, responses to voter inquiries, and even direct calls to action. Once those sorts of messages can be measured, the next thing to track is how widely they are retweeted. That would give real insight into the influence of a candidate’s substantive political expressions.

Twitter isn’t the only venue available for that sort of messaging and engagement, but it’s an undeniably fertile one for it. That’s why AimsPoll is so interested in covering the Twitter Primary, and helping candidates get better traction in it.

Right now, unfortunately, establishing leadership in substantive engagement is practically a moot point. At this stage of the game, the playing out of the Money Primary — and what Lawrence Lessig calls Tweedism — counts for much much more.




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