Bid Buzz: Booker vs. Weiner

By Becky Hogan

Newark Mayor Cory Booker formally announced Saturday that he’s in the race to finish the US Senate term of the late Frank Lautenberg.  His election bid has been highly anticipated ever since he announced last December he would consider a Senate run.

One of Booker’s biggest assets in his campaign for the Senate will likely be his almost 1.4 million Twitter followers.  Part of his online popularity has to do with the way he already uses social networks to reach constituents. He regularly answers constituent questions and service requests via social media, and has said that he will continue to do so as a candidate.

So it’s no surprise Booker saw a significant upsurge in Twitter Followers after his announcement.



He also saw huge gains in likes on his YouTube channel.



And as we mentioned in our last post, he’s quite the social media trendsetter—he’s even using Twitter’s new Vine app to record short videos on the campaign trail.

But as he kicked off his campaign Saturday, Booker suggested that his online popularity might be a liability.

“You know it’s going to be messy, and there’s going to be critics,” he said. “I’ve got to know a lot about criticism. ‘Too much Twitter for the mayor, too much exposure.’ I’ve heard it all. But there’s one thing that everyone has to admit about my life as a professional … I do not run from challenges, I run towards them.”

At TrendPo, we don’t think there’s such a thing as “too much Twitter” –unless, of course, you’re Anthony Weiner!  Our data from the 2012 campaign shows 84% of candidates who won their elections for Senate, House, and Governor seats had more Twitter Followers than their opponents did.

And Speaking of Anthony Weiner, how did Booker’s highly anticipated run compare to Weiner’s much-buzzed-about mayoral bid?

In national media, they both got a lot of attention, however the interesting thing to note is that Booker received more buzz in anticipation of his formal announcement, whereas, Weiner got more attention at the time of his announcement.  This makes sense since the general sentiment seemed to be that people were more surprised that Weiner was running, not if he was.



Weiner saw a much larger surge in Facebook Likes at the time of his announcement, however Booker has a larger Facebook presence overall.



Interestingly, many more people were talking about Booker around the time of his announcement than they were about Weiner.  This could be due to the fact that beyond running for the NJ Senate, many people peg Booker as a possible presidential candidate in 2016.



Check back here to see how both Booker and Weiner are faring in news and social buzz closer to their Democratic primaries.

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