Candidates in yesterday's mid-term elections fought hard to gain voters and leads in polls, but what about Facebook fans? According to figures released this morning, popularity on Facebook provided a surprisingly accurate portrait of House and Senate races.
Facebook's political team said that candidates with more Facebook fans than their opponents won 74% of House races and 81% of Senate races. Though Facebook accurately predicted most elections, some big upsets included Christine O'Donnell, Meg Whitman, and Sharron Angle, all of whom had far more fans on Facebook, yet lost their elections.
Still, Facebook is rapidly becoming a social voting platform, one that campaigns will certainly focus on in 2012. A remarkable 12 million people clicked the "I Voted" button this election cycle, a massive 122% increase from 2008's 5.4 million voters.
We're still analyzing how Twitter stacked up—stay tuned—but in Nevada's major contest between Angle and Harry Reid, the micro-blogging platform may have been far more accurate than Facebook—and even scientific polls. In the days leading up to the election, most every poll showed Angle ahead of Reid; however, data compiled by Crimson Hexagon, which uses a sophisticated algorithm to analyzes Twitter conversations online, showed Reid ahead of Angle 55% to 45%.
Reid ended up winning, proving polls wrong, with 50.2% of the vote, compared with Angle's 44.6%.