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May 6, 2015 6:45 PM

Steinhauser: New numbers in the 2016 Facebook battle

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD – Nearly 460,000 people were talking about Mike Huckabee on Facebook Tuesday, as the former Arkansas governor launched a second bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

And there were more than 800,000 interactions, such as likes, posts, comments and shares, directly tied to Huckabee’s White House announcement.

That may sound impressive but it pales in comparison to the numbers Hillary Clinton scored when she announced her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

With social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter playing an increasing larger role in campaign politics, such figures matter.

Facebook Wednesday released numbers on how many unique visitors and interactions the eight candidates who’ve launched presidential campaigns had during the day that they each announced.

Former business executive Cary Fiorina had 304,000 unique people and 515,000 interactions when she announced on Monday, trailing Huckabee’s Facebook haul. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont had 592,000 unique people and 1.2 million interactions when he launched his Democratic presidential bid last Thursday.

Climbing the list, GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida had 695,000 visitors and 1.3 million interactions when he announced. Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who also launched a Republican presidential campaign on Monday, had 847,000 visitors and 1.5 million interactions. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky’s announced edged out Carson, with 865,000 unique visitors and 1.9 million interactions.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the first of the big name Republicans to announce White House bid, had 2.1 million unique people and 5.5 million interactions.

But they all trail Clinton, who scored 4.7 million unique visitors and more than 10 million interactions when she launched her second White House bid.

While Twitter has become a key tool for political outreach for campaigns, Facebook’s still a major factor in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

“Facebook may be getting lost in the shuffle because of Twitter’s popularity. But Facebook has great reach with folks, especially with folks 35 and older. Some states including New Hampshire are Facebook states,” said NH1 News digital director Kevin Deane.

"People are more likely to jump on Facebook in New Hampshire than they are to go on Twitter,” he added.


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