Comparing Tumblr analytics for Mitt Romney and Barack Obama

One week before the U.S. presidential election, how are the candidates performing on Tumblr? We’ve been monitoring both the candidates’ blogs, as well as general conversation about them on Tumblr. Here’s what we’ve found so far. 

During October, conversations about the candidates have been pretty comparable in size. Both have seen increases in volume around the debates (see the spikes on the graphs below). In the past 30 days, 94.5K posts and 3M reblogs have been posted about Mitt Romney and 117.1K posts and 2.5M reblogs have been posted about Barack Obama. 1.5 million people have posted, reblogged or liked something about Mitt Romney and 1.4 million have posted, reblogged or liked something about Barack Obama. 

From a content perspective, nearly all of the most popular posts (those receiving the most notes) are directly comparing the candidates; more than two-thirds of the posts about each candiate also include a tag about the other candidate. Most of the content is visual and sarcastic in nature, often created to poke fun at the candidates, with myriad screenshots and GIFs created from the debates. 

On the candidates’ own blogs, the differences between the candidates is more clear. Romney has posted 33 times in October, receiving 17.8K notes from 15.8K curators. Obama has posted 191 times in October, receiving 555.7K notes from 319.4K curators. 

The Romney campaign publishes one to two original posts per day, and has not reblogged any other content this month. They focus mostly on photos, with the occasional video or text post. The Mitt Romney Tumblr gets an average of 539 notes per post (339 reblogs/post and 199 likes/post). This is a successful, but fairly straightforward use of the Tumblr platform to promote the Romney campaign. 

On the other hand, the Obama campaign is highly engaged on Tumblr, posting both original content and reblogs of other posts. They post two or more times a day and include a number of animated GIFs and other photos, videos and quotes. The Barack Obama Tumblr gets an average of 2,909 notes per post (1,692 reblogs/post and 1,217 likes/post). The Obama campaign seems to have a good grasp of the kind of content that works well on Tumblr and leverages this for very high engagement rates five times greater than the Romney campaign over the same time period.

Mitt Romney’s most popular post this month - America’s Comeback Team in Nevada - has received more than 8,100 reblogs and 4,200 likes. Amplified reblogs stretch out 33 generations from the original post. Here’s a visualization of this post’s reblogs: 

Barack Obama’s most popular post this month - a Mean Girls debate GIF - has received more than 49,300 reblogs and 21,700 likes. Amplified reblogs stretch out 88 generations from the original post. Here’s a visualization of this post’s reblogs: 

We’ll be continuing to track these conversations through the next week, so check back later for an update!

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  7. dailydatascience reblogged this from unionmetrics and added:
    Using Tumblr to compare the candidates on Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
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    Cool. These types of data always amaze me.
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