Facebook and the political tip sheet Politico are joining forces to assess user sentiment toward the Republican candidates ahead of the January 21 South Carolina presidential primary.
The partnership is a sign of just how powerful the social networking site has become in measuring the ebbs and flows of a campaign’s popularity during the heated 2012 primary season.
In a news release, Facebook’s Vice President of U.S. Public Policy Joel Kaplan adds that the site enhances the:
connections and conversations that are happening every day between voters and presidential candidates. Whether they are voting in early primaries, or just talking about the election, the candidates, and the issues with their friends and family, millions of Americans are actively engaged in the 2012 campaign. We’re pleased those conversations are happening on Facebook and that leading news sources like Politico are helping drive healthy discussion and debate.
By teaming up, Facebook and Politico plan on delivering analysis on two fronts:
Using automated software, Facebook will compile mentions of the candidates in U.S. users’ posts and comments as well as assess positive and negative sentiments expressed about them. The information will be analyzed by Politico’s journalists and published on the site.
The first report, showing Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in the lead, is recapped in the graph beneath this post.
Facebook and Politico will survey voting-age users in South Carolina on a daily basis and publish the survey results online the next day.