Category Archives: Mayors

The 2016 Democratic Field


president-campaign_04_620x350By Becky Hogan

As presidential wannabes flock to Iowa this summer to start testing the waters and make inroads in the Hawkeye state, the big question lingers–who stands a chance against the formidable Clinton machine?

The possible list of GOP presidential candidates continues to grow, but it seems Hillary Clinton has temporarily frozen the field for Democrats in 2016 until she formally announces whether she’ll run.

We’re still over 2 years away from Election Day and no one on either side has begun to lay the groundwork for a presidential campaign, but it’s never too early to see who is generating the most online buzz among some possible contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klochubar will all be making trips to Iowa this summer amid speculation that they are mulling presidential bids.

Fun fact: In 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama also made the trek to Iowa, long before he received the Democrat nomination in 2007.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker handily won the New Jersey Senate primary last week and many believe that if he makes it to the US Senate, he will consider a presidential run in 2016.

Then there’s Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley who has been the most candid about his presidential aspirations to date.  He announced at the National Governor Association meeting earlier this month that he intends to continue to the lay the groundwork for a presidential bid by fundraising and beefing up his social media presence.

When it comes to media coverage, no one comes close to the amount of media buzz that Clinton has generated.  It seems that the media hasn’t stopped speculating about the former Secretary of State.

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Biden has about half as much national media coverage as Clinton and he’s second in command! After Biden, the media coverage drops off considerably for the remaining Democrats.  Booker has less than a fourth of the Vice President’s media coverage—even with a recent primary win.

When it comes to social media, it’s a different story.

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Booker, known for his social media prowess, has the largest following on Twitter of any of the possible contenders—he’s accrued twice as many followers as Clinton.  Biden has the most Facebook Likes of the Democrats we’ve selected.

Booker was the most “talked about” on Facebook over the past week—probably due to his recent primary victory.  Castro was the second most talked about is the past week after he announced he would attend the infamous Iowa Steak Fry, indicating the mayor is capable of generating a lot of buzz. Interestingly, Clinton was the least buzzed about in the past week indicating that Facebook users may be losing interest until she makes an official announcement.

So it seems the national media has a clear favorite in Hillary Clinton, but social media has yet to decide a clear contender.  What’s interesting is that these potential candidates seem to be buzzing in different ways—we’ll keep watching as the race for the 2016 Democratic nomination—er running mate— heats up.

Mike Duggan Wins Primary In Detroit, Gets Big Media Coverage


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By Ryan Isakow

Mike Duggan pulled off an unexpected victory in yesterday’s primary for Detroit Mayor, getting 46% of the vote through a write-in campaign. Duggan went from a well-positioned candidate to underdog after his name was taken off the ballot on a technicality in June, forcing him to rely on write-ins to progress in the primary.

Duggan’s campaign has gotten intense media attention on the state level, frequently surpassing Governor Rick Snyder and current Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. The only Michigan state-level politician with more coverage is Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

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The dismal coverage of Mayor Bing, which we covered in a previous blog post, is mostly attributable to Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr. Since the announcement of an emergency manager last March, the city government has played an increasingly small role in managing Detroit, leading to less coverage. On the flipside, Orr has recently become the major political figure in the state – an unusual position for an unelected politician.

One of the big questions in this election is what role the next Mayor will have vis a vis Kevyn Orr. Coverage of Duggan has moved roughly in consort with Orr – we’ll be keeping an eye on whether he can decouple his state coverage, implying a return of power and influence to city government.

The same trend can be seen in changes in Twitter followers and discussions on Facebook, where Mike Duggan has been making impressive gains. Although still below Snyder in total Twitter followers and Facebook “talked abouts”, he’s growing at a fast rate – especially since his primary victory.

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The jump in Duggan’s social media presence could potentially lead to increased out of state interest in his candidacy, opening new fundraising opportunities. Thanks to national coverage of the Detroit Bankruptcy, the Mayoral race has the potential to get widespread attention outside of the State. Utilizing social media is one avenue to channeling his coverage into donations. He has already raised more than $1 million so far, compared to his opponent Benny Napoleon who has so far raised just north of $600,000.

Mike Duggan’s candidacy is a demonstration of increasing viability for write-in candidates, such as Lisa Murkowski, Alaska’s current Senior Senator. We expect social media to open new doors for public engagement; while being the write-in candidate is never an easy path to victory, it’s becoming increasingly possible.

Local News Is Not Kind To San Diego Mayor Bob Filner


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By Ryan Isakow

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has had a rough month. Prominent California Democrats, including San Diego party leaders and Senator Dianne Feinstein have called for him to step down amid accusations that he sexually harassed several women. The attention is new for Mayor Filner, who has had little national prominence before now. Untitled-3 The massive national coverage has soured local residents; a recent poll found that 67% think that Filner should resign, and 60% said that he should be recalled if he stays in office. While the national coverage is embarrassing, the extent of San Diegan opposition to their Mayor is still surprising. Looking at the extent of State media coverage gives some insight. Untitled-4 The extent of more localized coverage indicates that, while nationally the story gotten coverage, the extent of reporting at the State level is having a much larger and leading effect – enough to push Filner to #6 in the TrendPo rankings. Thanks to the Internet, blogs reflecting the state level reporting have spread nationally through social networks. If politics is local, it looks like buzz can be too.

Weinergate Part 2 Sparks Twitter Frenzy


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By Becky Hogan

Scandal spreads fast on Twitter and Anthony Weiner is no exception–even if it is the second time around.

Twitter had a field day yesterday after New York City Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner admitted that he continued to have inappropriate relationships with women online even after he resigned from Congress in 2011, posting under the alias “Carlos Danger.”

After another round of lewd messages were published by the gossip website, The Dirty, Weiner was the number one trending topic on Twitter—he also gained 1,411 followers since the news broke.

But it wasn’t just Anthony Weiner that was trending on Twitter, his wife Huma Abedin has also been trending on the micro-blogging site ever since she defended him publicly in a press conference yesterday afternoon following the news.

We took a look at Anthony Weiner’s TrendPo rank—based on his news and social buzz—during his campaign.

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Weiner saw a spike in the rankings when he first announced he’d be running and again when Eliot Spitzer announced his bid for NYC controller (comparisons are often drawn between the two as they both seek a return to politics after being shamed by sex scandals).

Interestingly, since Abedin appeared on the campaign trail Weiner has been able to maintain a higher ranking.

Will the fact that Abedin has stood by Weiner be enough to convince NYC voters that they should give him another chance too?

What’s different about Weiner’s scandal than others like Eliot Spitzer and Mark Sanford is that Weiner’s indiscretions took place online—meaning that this sexting scandal lives on in cyberspace for all to see.

However a recent poll of Democratic Primary voters shows both Weiner and Spitzer ahead in their races.

We compared their social media presences to their top opponents.  While Spitzer seems to have stayed away from social media during his campaign, Weiner has built up large followings on both sites.

Weiner has seen far more gains on Facebook than on Twitter, and is well ahead of his top rival City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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Both state and national media have been captivated by the sexting scandal too. There were more articles about Weiner when Eliot Spitzer decided to make a run for controller than when Abedin appeared on the campaign trail with Weiner.  Now the tables have turned and many media outlets are asking if new developments in the Weiner scandal will hurt Spitzer’s run.

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The New York Times, the New York Daily News, and three other candidates running for mayor — Bill de Blasio, John Catsimatidis and Sal Alabense — called for Weiner to leave the race.

As pressure mounts on Weiner to leave the race, will Abedin be enough to convince voters that her husband can run the Big Apple?

Check back here to see how Weiner and other scandalous politicians are creating buzz!

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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

For more content, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TrendPo or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/trendpo.

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