While the top contenders to be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate make guest appearances during his six-state bus tour, one company has predicted who that ultimate winner should be—according to Facebook data.
Polygraph Media, an Austin-based start-up, analyzed the Facebook performance of eight politicians assumed to be on the Romney campaign’s short list for veep: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Sen. Jim DeMint, Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Rob Portman, and Sen. Marco Rubio.
After crawling through each potential VP’s Facebook page(s) and analyzing their interactions (likes, posts, comments), pace of fan accumulation, pro- vs. negative ‘Romney’ posts, and a host of other Facebook data, Polygraph named Sen. Rubio of Florida as the “smartest, best choice.”
Gov. Christie also performed well in terms of Facebook, but for the final result Polygraph considered the top two candidates’ home states. As governor of a swing state, Rubio edged out Christie for Polygraph’s top choice.
While Facebook data likely isn’t at the top of the Romney campaign’s VP vetting checklist, Polygraph points out that 51% of Americans, ages 12 and up, use the social network, making it an important database of potential voters and their preferences.