William K. Wolfrum's picture

    The myth of Marco Rubio and GOP dominance of Twitter

    When Barack Obama began his more-or-less Keynesian approach to fixing a U.S. economy that was terribly broken by Milton Friedman`s rehashed laissez faire approach, two strange things happened amongst Republicans. First, Republicans began crowing about how they dominated social media web sites like Twitter - a meme primarily put out by Republicans. Second, every Republican in a state position immediately thrust themselves into the national political picture.

    Remember Mark Stanford? Well, before his career-ending hiking trip through the hills of Argentina, the Governor of South Carolina had basically given up on the people of his state in order to make sweeping statements about the nation as a whole, going so far as threatening to not accept federal funds for his cash-strapped state.

    As far as social media goes, however, far-right Conservatives have been living a big lie. Take for example Florida`s Senate candidate Marco Rubio. Rubio, a hero of the Pol-Pot-right fringe of the GOP has been given attention far beyond his worth as a candidate. And his inflated Twitter numbers prove that out.

    As of Dec. 5, Rubio followed a total of 3,013 people, and was followed by 6,708. While not heroic figures, they aren`t too shabby for an underdog opponent to the more popular and connected Republican in the Race, Charlie Crist.

    A deeper look at those numbers shows that Twitter is of almost no value to Rubio, who is counting on votes from Floridians to earn a seat in the U.S. Senate.

    Of the 3,013 people that Rubio follows, a grand total of 696 actually claim Florida as their home for a percentage of 23 percent. Of the 6,708 that follow Rubio, 2,204 are from Florida, for a percentage of 32 percent.

    This, of course doesn`t count the wide variety of scam artists and porn bots that get included somehow in many people`s Twitter feeds, so we`ll forgive Rubio for following @Levie__Belle (come and see how n.a.s.t.y i am !!!) and others.

    But simply put, the far right has made a lot of noise about how they dominate Twitter. And Rubio is their Fringe Conservative Golden Boy. And he has - at the very most - 2,204 potential voters following him. To give some idea of what that means - I, William K. Wolfrum, a non-candidate, with no funding, sponsors or rallies, have 2,258 followers. To take that further, in 2004, Mel Martinez won the Senate Seat that Rubio is after, winning by less than 2 percent over his Democratic challenger - or, by a total of 80,000 votes.

    In the end, this analysis of Marco Rubio`s Twitter feed is yet another example of how easy it is to debunk the Right`s claims that they enjoy a significant advantage in social media, as well as public support overall. Because like many other claims from the right, it just doesn`t hold up to facts, especially when it comes to Marco Rubio, who, while surely to be full of sound and fury signifying nothing, will be soundly thumped in the 2010 Senate race. Because all those out-of-state Rubio fans will be of no use to him, whatsoever.



    I think this is just another example of the difference between those who feel like we have to deal with the reality dealt us (the so-called "reality-based community") and those who think they can craft their own realities.

    Btw, of those 2,258 followers you have, how many of them are US voters living in your home-state of Brazil? Yeah, that's what I thought!

    Don't mind Nebton. He's got some unresolved anger when it comes to expats.

    The fact that many of Rubio's Twitter followers are from out of state is not as insignificant as you would appear to claim.  First, anyone who is requesting information from an out of state canidate is likely to be an activitst.  Because of their intrest and motovation activists have greater influence over the political process.  The fact that Rubio has developed a communications platform to present information or opinions to this group of people is not insignificant.  Second, while out of state twitters can't give thier votes, they can give money and time and many may choose to do so.  A dollar donated from out of state is just as green as one that came from a voter.

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