Snapshot of Presidential Candidate Social Networking Stats: Nov 3, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day, so let’s take a snapshot of the social media campaign results, it took me a few minutes to dive into their profiles and grab numbers. Here’s what I found:

Internet Usage in United States
United States Population: 303,824,646
Internet Usage: 220,141,969
Penetration rate: 72.5%
Growth from 2000-2008: 130.9%
Stats from Internet WorldStats (Census, Nielson)

Obama: 2,379,102 supporters
McCain: 620,359 supporters

Obama has 380% more supporters than McCain

Obama: Friends: 833,161
McCain: Friends: 217,811

Obama has 380% more supporters than McCain

Obama: 1792 videos uploaded since Nov 2006, Subscribers: 114,559 (uploads about 4 a day), Channel Views: 18,413,110
McCain: 329 videos uploaded since Feb 2007 (uploads about 2 a day), Subscribers: 28,419, Channel Views: 2,032,993

Obama has 403% more subscribers than McCain
Obama has 905% more viewers than McCain

Obama: @barackobama has 112,474 followers
McCain: @JohnMcCain (is it real?) 4,603 followers

Obama has 240 times more followers in Twitter than McCain

Community Platforms/Branded Social Networks
MyBarackObama: I was unable to find total number of registered members (anyone have data?)
McCain Space: I was unable to find total number of registered members (anyone have data?)

Interesting that the ratios between MySpace and Facebook are the same, Youtube nearly the same. I was not able to find data on LinkedIn, they don’t make it easy to find ‘connections’ numbers.

It’s clear that Obama is dominating the social media activity, this could because of two reasons: 1) Obama campaign moved quicker to social networking and soical media, McCain only recently launched his own social network with KickApps. 2) The Social Technographics (behaviors to adopt social media) skew heavier towards demographics, yet these percentages are far greater than the margins shown in technographics.

I’ll link to any other social media campaign analysis, leave a link below –later, if I get time, I’ll try to do a summary.

Related Resources:

  • Forrester’s Josh Bernoff: The social profile of political candidates
  • Pew has some very interesting data about social networks and their influence, many charts
  • Pew Research: The Internet and the 2008 Election, stats and data about usage.
  • Obama campaign bullies MySpace fan out of his namesake as the MySpace Obama page wasn’t started by official Obama campaign
    • Richard Okun

      Really interesting stuff – not so surprising

    • No doubt, I am a McCain supporter and blogger, but very accurate that Obama and Obama supporters have been much more social and online. May not matter as much this time, but for sure in the future social media is going to be huge for elections.

    • good observation!. Got a chance to test ROI for social media campaign. Lets check the end results!

    • These stats are amazing. When I was on the social media vendor side, many evaluators and decision makers were slow to make commitments due to the lack of metrics. This is a great use case for early adoption.

    • Rob Jellesed

      I am a McCain Support, but follow both him (if it is him…) and Obama on twitter. I did this to better understand how this tool can be used and the different styles of usage each individual has.

    • Lisa

      At least for Obama, cell phone text messaging was also extremely robust. I recognize it’s not “social networking” in its strictest definition, but I’d say it adds to his long list of campaign strategies that were unconventional and successful.

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    • Obama also advertised via ChaCha text messages here in Indiana (if not everywhere); again not social media but certainly a break from traditional campaign advertising.

    • Jeremiah,

      Fascinating. I was fully involved in the Obama side of it (as a volunteer)…and was impressed at all points of intersection with his brand.

    • Some stats off the top of my head is that both Facebook and MySpace have more than 100 million users, so this is still a small amount.

      LinkedIn has 30mm? (can’t recall accurately)

    • kim

      What this doesn’t account for is duplication. You could EASILY be counting all the same people (or a high percentage) in all the groups, because people tend to be on both myspace and facebook, or facebook and twitter, or all three. More telling would be UNIQUE users, but much harder to capture.

    • Personally, I think Obama’s social media campaign is amazing – it’s tightly woven together, the branding is consistent, and offers many opportunities for personalization. is a great site, and an example of how any campaign (corporate or political) should strive to be. The campaign really did its research and came out strong. Will be interesting to compare after tomorrow as well. Thanks for the data Jeremiah!

    • I read that there was a youtube video that was pro mccain that had over 12 Million views… I wonder what the top video viewed for Obama was? Thanks for putting up the stats! much appreciated as always!

    • It’s not too surprising, honestely. The McCain camp has always been a “me-to” player online. We’ve been poking fun at the whole social media approach from both campaigns at…it makes for an interesting commentary on the presidential elections this year.

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    • I wonder how the numbers look if you can account for party “base” demographics– for example, I would guess that typical Democratic base is younger an more online than typical GOP base. If you weight the numbers accordingly, do they look much different (probably)? Is Obama still ahead (I’m guessing yes, but curious)?

    • We did a similar analysis a year ago, and found that the rankings actually predicted the primary outcome.

    • We did an ongoing study of YouTube starting a year ago. What we found was that there was some correlation between social media rankings and primary outcome.

    • Fantastic post, Jeremiah. The generation gap when it comes to non-traditional media tools is definitely evident in this election.

      It also serves to prove that Twitter is a haven for terrorists, communists and… even… (h the horror) vegetarians. ;D

      Definitely keep the stats coming.

    • great analysis Jeremiah. I have been impressed by the number of micro-communications I have received from the Obama campaign. Even with great frequency of contact, I have not felt interrupted or overwhelmed by them. Their social media strategy was/is brilliant. I hope that it carries into the Presidency, regardless of the winner. I think people want to hear from our Leadership more often and more directly.

    • Obama is currently winning the Facebook Causes vote, where members donate their status to remind people to vote (selecting a candidate is optional).

      Facebook members donating status to ..

      Obama: 382,155 (69%)
      McCain: 88,615 (16%)

      Total votes: 553,848


    • At Watercooler, we developed versions of our “Addicted to” apps for a variety of politicians during the primaries. Not surprisingly, the only ones that are active now are the ones for Obama and McCain. The results: Obama – 74K users and McCain – 29K users. The McCain app showed a higher percentage growth in Oct with 26% to Obama’s 22%, but Obama had higher raw number growth with 14K to 6K.

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    • Thanks for posting this! I’m wondering to what extent will these numbers be translated into real votes? Are there already machinations in place to measure this?

    • Angela N

      Fantastic. And, will be even more telling after tomorrow’s results i.e. depending on who wins, how close it is, if it is a landslide, red states turn blue, etc.

    • jeremiah, awesome data. The WSJ and NYT should do this story. thanks

    • Jeremiah
      I love the insight you’ve shared… It’ll be interesting to see how the actual results play out, in relation to the figures you’ve found through the online social networking presence of these guys! I did some similar statistical analysis on my own blog, but based it on presence online. Interestingly, most statistics placed Obama in the clear first place, except for, which appeared to report the number of articles with the word McCain as showing a few million times more than articles with the word Obama in them. All the others such as alexa rankings, and google blogs, all showed Obama as clearly the presidential favourite.

      It will be interesting to see how the social networking ratios of McCain and Obama relate to the final results 🙂 We can slowly start building our predictive data models, with all these analyses in years to come!

    • this data is awesome, thanks for collecting it. Too bad we wont be able to get data on how many of these people/connections/subscribers/friends actually vote

    • These are some really interesting stats especially because I was just wondering about them prior to checking my reader and seeing this post 🙂

      I think part of the difference in subscriber numbers is the demographic of people to which each candidate tends to appeal to.

      Thanks for the interesting post!

    • Kim Cooper

      What would also be interesting is to know what % of those online users actually walk into a courthouse/city hall/school and cast a vote.

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    • Great data. I think the people running Obama’s campaign are simply better at figuring out how to market online through social networks, because they’re the people who use social networks. Obama’s fans seem to skew younger and more tech-savvy than McCain’s.

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    • Google Trends show beats by 3X.

      Alexa Traffic Ranking yesterday: – 415 – 2054

      Google Search reults:
      bo name – 71 MN
      bo website – 68 MN
      jm name – 61 MN
      jm website – no info

      Don’t forget the bo iphone app that targets your address book by swing state!

    • As much as the Obama campaign has done a great job of using social media to spread messages, politics and government still have much further to go in using social media to actually listen and to carry on conversations.

      @Lessig pointed out this great article that touches on the subject: Congress, not Obama, needs a Geek Corps

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    • Great summary, really thanks for the post!

    • Interesting numbers. I wonder what percentage from each stat is actually American.

    • Wow. The Republicans really got wiped off the floor this time around. Expect them to go all out in the next election with Facebook groups etc.

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    • Interesting (but not surprising) stats. Will definitely be using them for a postmortem case study on Nov. 5-6!

      Thanks for visiting Spiral16’s blog!

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    • Much larger article that did this a week or so ago for Network World…we attempted to figure out if it matched polls…there is a clear Web 2.0 bias

      The graphs match but Web 2.0 metric skew the differences.

    • Jolicka

      The statistics are not surprising, I definitely agree that there is more talk going on about Obama. What I wonder is how much of what was calculated was really positive?