A week ago I noted that Scott Brown was winning the online race. In the last week, particularly after the Rasmussen poll, Brown has run away with the online race.
On Twitter, Brown is dominant. As of this morning, @ScottBrownMA has 3913 followers versus 1997 for @MarthaCoakley. More important is the growth trend. Brown has a hockey stick, Coakley a flatline (note, chart does not fully show Brown’s lead because he is off the chart on the upside):
Perhaps more important, @ScottBrownMa is one of the most retweeted names on Twitter, ranked no. 62 overall. By contrast, @MarthaCoakley comes in at no. 829,982. Go to hashtag #MaSen, which is the place to be for Massachusetts Senate tweets, and Brown supporters completely dominate the traffic.
On Facebook, the result is the same. The number of Brown followers has exploded. Whereas at my last post Brown had 8,689 followers, now he has 16,391. Coakley, by contrast has barely budged, moving from 6,255 to 6,479 followers.
The Brown Facebook page is very active with numerous comments and links, whereas the Coakley page is quiet, except for a small number of hearty souls who repeatedly post.
There is almost no positive movement in the blogosphere for Coakley. The left-wing bloggers have not taken up her cause, which may be a reaction to her support of the Senate bill which is seen as a sell-out by progressives, and her “bait and switch” on the abortion language in the bill.
By contrast, the conservative blogosphere has pushed the Brown campaign from the start, long before mainstream Republicans and mainstream conservative media jumped on board.
What does this all mean?
Yes, tweets don’t vote and many Brown followers are out-of-state. But Brown’s triumph online has helped to level the playing field, and will play a crucial role in driving the momentum in the final two weeks, particularly in the get out the vote effort.
Brown has won the online race. While no guarantee of a win on election day, social media has made Brown a much more competitive candidate.
Update: AstroTweeting – Starting this morning, a few Coakley followers have been retweeting @MarthaCoakley incessantly and have raised her rank on Twitter up to 989, but it is AstroTweeting since these retweeters, such as @barbiesnow and @dkdanielson, have few followers themselves; they are tweeting into the abyss, or AstroTweeting. Meanwhile, @ScottBrownMA has moved up to the 25th most frequent name tweeted.
And The Cook Report has moved the race from Solid Democratic to Leans Democratic, taking notice of what we are seeing online (via Jennifer Rubin):
At this point, we suspect that the race has indeed closed somewhat and that the result will probably be closer than it ought to be, but we continue to believe that [Republican Scott] Brown has a very uphill struggle in his quest to pull off a Massachusetts Miracle. At the same time, we have a well-earned appreciation for how unpredictable special elections can be even in states or congressional districts that sit solidly in one party’s camp or the other. For that reason, and an abundance of caution, we are moving it from the Solid Democratic column to the Lean Democratic column.
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