With so many individuals announcing the bid for the presidency of the United States, it seems the only people not running for president in 2016 are me and my cat Felinious Rex.
According to the site Politics 1, there are six Democratic candidates for president and – get this – twenty candidates on the Republican side. As we creep to 2016 and the non-stop barrage of political ads, is there any way to predict who will end up taking the oath of office in January of 2017?
Spending on political campaigns continues to increase, and it’s almost certain that with twenty-six candidates (and counting), 2016 will be a record year for campaign spending. And in a system where dollars equate to influence, it will be interesting to see which candidates use social media, a relatively cost-free platform, to promote themselves on their quest for the White House.
The key word again is influence, and in the context of Twitter, that means number of followers. A well timed tweet has the capability of going viral, and using Twitter to promote an agenda or message is part of the new norm in American politics. I submit the final candidates for both parties will be determined by who has the most Twitter followers. So with that in mind, let’s review the current state of twitter for each candidate.
Starting with the Democrats (in alphabetical order):
- @ Currently in office as V.P., but less than 1M followers (835k). Did anyone remember until now that Joe will be vying for the office?
- @ Quiet and mild-mannered, not exactly what you think of when you hear ‘Presidential’. 16.8k followers is low, but not the lowest on the list of Democrats.
- @ The front-running juggernaut. Her 3.69M followers parallels the financial war chest at her disposal.
- @ 75.3k followers is not a lot for a politician who actively courts the LGBT community.
- @ The elder statesman with a no-nonsense approach, he needs a lot of work to increase his 374k followers count.
- @ Bringing up the rear with a measly 8.4k followers, which is only 5.4k more than me, and I’m a nobody.
Twitter-sumptive Democratic Candidate = Hillary Clinton
Looking at the Republican candidates (in alphabetical order):
- @ A surprisingly low followers count (210k) for the son and brother of former Presidents.
- @ One of several non-politician candidates, the good doctor has a moderately respectable 360k followers.
- @ A larger than life persona, both in and out of the gubernatorial office, Christie needs to make larger his 532k followers count.
- @ Given his charisma and ability to promote himself, his 418k followers count should see a significant up-tick before the primaries.
- @ With only 111 followers and no tweets since November 2014, it appears Ehrlich has abandoned social media as a campaign tool.
- @ 35.8k followers is respectable for a relative unknown, but still leaves him with a long way to go in a crowded GOP race.
- @ The lone female Republican, you’d think the former head of a tech company would have more than 372k followers.
- @ Another back-of-the-pack Republican candidate, his 6k followers is indicative of a brief campaign.
- @ Can Graham’s outspokenness overcome his anemic 18.6k followers count?
- @ A popular veteran to the Presidential race, it’s surprising to see Huckabee has only 369k followers.
- @ The Bayou (Bay of) Bengal has a low 186k followers given he’s endorsed by Duck Dynasty star @ who has 2.28M followers.
- @ The best bet for the Ohio Governor and his 72.2k followers count is to get @ (22M followers) in his corner.
- @ With only 19.9k followers, the Congressman should hope he’s mistaken for sports writer @ (1.52M followers).
- @ If every person in just Manhattan followed the former NY Governor, he’d have 1.6M followers. Instead, he has only 41.5k.
- @ Another big-named GOP candidate, Paul is one of the closest to 1M with his 632k followers.
- @ Everything is bigger in Texas, except for Perry’s followers count of only 294k.
- @ Young, energetic, and dynamic, Rubio may be the first Republican politician to top 1M followers. He’s currently 3/4 of the way there with 750K.
- @ One of the most devoutly religious candidates, Santorum needs to pray he can increase his followers count from 233k.
- @ The Don has his opponents trumped with his 3.02M followers, but how many of those followers were paid for?
- @ Known as a union buster, Walker needs an additional act of solidarity to increase his 143k followers count.
Twitter-sumptive Republican Candidate = Donald Trump
So if we throw out the issues, history, qualifications, and aversion to scary hair, and go strictly by the Twitter analytics, it looks like the 2016 Presidential election will be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It will be soccer moms versus Wall Street dads. Minivans versus limousines. Egomaniacs versus … well, egomaniacs. It’s interesting to point out Hillary currently has over 600k more followers than the Don, but it’s a long way until November 2016.