iMarch on Washington

By Becky Hogan

A major march took place on Washington in support of immigration reform last week.  This rally didn’t overrun the National Mall like you might expect; instead, Americans marched virtually via social media channels—sending emails, tweets, and Facebook messages to Senators to increase awareness on the importance of immigration reform.

Over 45 million users took part in the two-day “iMarch,” which was and organized effort led by Mayor Bloomberg and others to prod Congress on the issue.  iMarch is a great example of how social media channels are being used as platforms for political discourse and action.

You can use the TrendPo dashboard not only track which politicians are buzzing, but also which issues are receiving the most momentum.  As the TrendPo ranker shows, immigration was a top issue last week (with its peak position at #8), sustaining a major bump in rank over the time that iMarch was taking place.


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TrendPo’s dashboard also makes it easy to identify which politicians are the top influencers of a particular issue in news and social data.  Here are the top influencers for immigration as iMarch was in full-swing.



The top two Senators influencing immigration last week were Senators Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch after the Senate Judiciary Committee sent the immigration bill to the full Senate for debate.

If you were iMarch-ing on Washington last week, you could use the dashboard to help you determine which Senators to target in your messaging campaign.

Let’s compare Senators Leahy and Hatch to see who was influencing immigration the most in news and social data.

In national media, Leahy saw the larger spike in national news articles—probably due to the fact that he received a lot of attention for his amendments addressing immigration rights for same sex couples.  Hatch, however, sustained news media attention last week after voicing support for moving the bill out of committee, after being considered a swing vote for some time.



Senator Leahy also saw a greater bump in Facebook Likes than Senator Hatch during the time iMarch was taking place.  We can’t say for sure, but this could be due to the fact that Hatch said he still might vote against the bill when it goes to a vote on the Senate floor.



Senator Hatch has a much larger Facebook presence than Leahy with 25,421 followers as of the writing of this post.



When it comes to Twitter, however, Leahy dominates this space over Hatch with over 12,900 followers.



Leahy also saw the largest bump in Twitter Followers last week around the time of iMarch as he fought to keep the amendments he authored on same sex couples in the bill.



While both Senators received a lot of national news attention last week, it appears Senator Leahy received more social buzz than did Hatch.

Check back here to see which politicians are influencing key issues.

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