It feels like so long ago, November 6, 2012. Despite a relatively close popular vote, President Obama swept the country, decimating Mitt Romney in the battleground states. The blowout was called early by every major news network, despite the now infamous (and let’s admit, hilarious) indignation of Karl Rove.
On TV, states went from white to red or blue. But how did the story play out over social networks? That’s a question answered by Morteza Karimi, who created a spreadsheet of keywords used regarding each candidate, and then graphed them all on a timeline from October 23 to November 8.
The blue (top) is about Obama, and the bottom (red) is clearly about Romney. It’s not a straight timeline reading from left to right. Instead, try to imagine the intersection points of the circumferential dates toward the center of the circle.
What you’ll see is that right around election night, Obama-ites inundated Twitter with messages to "vote" and reminders of the "polls"—a startlingly clear data point, which underscores Obama’s vastly more sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation. Where were the Romney fanatics during this moment? One firsthand account points out that poor planning stopped 30,000 volunteers from mobilizing "Project Orca" for the day-of push.
There’s a lot more to see here, of course. Romney’s side pushed topics like Sandy and FEMA—topics that, honestly, made Obama look pretty darn presidential leading up to the election. Paul Ryan’s handle also makes a major appearance late in the game. This is purely conjecture on my part, but I can’t help but to wonder if that’s evidence toward a simple idea: Actionable words are a lot more effective on Twitter than name drops.
Meanwhile, as things go south for Republicans, "Ohio" is a big topic of conversation. And then, sadly, as all goes quiet, both sides whisper "revenge."