Social Media’s Super Tuesday Picks

Donald Trump, the master-blaster of outrageous tweets, continues to demonstrate that earned media can, by hook or crook, forge a path straight to the White House. Not even an errant Mussolini quote can stall the Trump juggernaut, according to “share of voice” social media ratings from communications software provider Cision.

Cision predicts that Trump will take every state where Republicans will be voting or caucusing today except for Texas, where it gives a two-point edge to native son Ted Cruz. Big wins are expected for Trump in Virginia, Alabama, and Arkansas.

Cision monitors posts involving candidates across all major social networks on a state-by-state basis, weighting candidate outcomes based on sentiments expressed about them in the context of the top issues for each state, and filtering out comments from people under voting age. In Massachusetts, for instance, the leading topics on social media are the economy, healthcare, and climate change, according to Cision. In Oklahoma, it’s the economy, foreign policy, and immigration.

Though Cision predicts victories for Bernie Sanders in Colorado, Virginia, and his home state of Vermont, social chatter gives Hillary Clinton the edge in the other eight states where Democrats will make their choices today.

Cision’s predictions had been fairly accurate until last week, when it foresaw a Sanders win in Nevada. But James Rubec, the company’s content marketing and social media manager, maintains that social media electioneering is still a work in progress, for pundits and politicos alike.

“We were inaccurate in Nevada because there were too many Baby Boomers weighting the results and our search for Hispanics on social media wasn’t good enough,” Rubec said.

Rubec stands squarely behind Cision’s method of handicapping voters by their key issues instead of their party affiliations or demographic key indicators. “If I were running a candidate’s campaign, I’d go to each state and build an influencer database based on each issue. I’d reach them any way I could—direct mail, social media, call them—and I’d have started doing it three months ago,” he says. “If you get to the influencers, they’ll influence their friends. But you have to get to them early. It takes some weeks before they see your candidate as authentic on their issue.”

Cision’s Super Tuesday Call:

Alabama – Clinton 53%,  Sanders 47% 
Arkansas – Clinton 52%,  Sanders 48%
Colorado – Sanders 51%,  Clinton 49%
Georgia – Clinton 52%,  Sanders 48%
Massachusetts – Sanders 53%,  Clinton 47%
Minnesota – Clinton 52%,  Sanders 48%
Oklahoma – Clinton 54%,  Sanders 46%
Tennessee – Clinton 51%,  Sanders 49%
Texas – Clinton 53%,  Sanders 47%
Vermont – Sanders 60%,  Clinton 40%
Virginia – Sanders 52%,  Clinton 48%

Alabama – Trump 42%,  Cruz 29%,  Rubio 17%
Alaska – Trump 35%,  Cruz 24%,  Rubio 19%
Arkansas – Trump 37%,  Rubio 27%,  Cruz 27%
Georgia – Trump 36%,  Cruz 23%,  Rubio 22%
Massachusetts – Trump 31%,  Rubio 23%,  Cruz 21%
Minnesota – Trump 29%,  Rubio 25%,  Cruz 25%
Oklahoma – Trump 31%,  Cruz 24%,  Rubio 23%
Tennessee – Trump 34%,  Rubio 26%,  Cruz 24%
Texas – Cruz 31%,  Trump 29%,  Rubio 21%
Vermont – Trump 30%,  Rubio 23%,  Cruz 22%
Virginia – Trump 54%,  Rubio 18%,  Cruz 17%

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