Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. greets his wife Kelley Ashby, prior to his announcement of the start of his presidential campaign, Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky.
Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP

Who got more early buzz: Rand Paul or Ted Cruz?

Updated

In the past two weeks, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul both declared they’re both running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. But who has more buzz on social media? Here’s a look at the candidates’ social media stats on the day they announced their presidential campaigns. All data was provided by Facebook’s media team.

Rand Paul announced his campaign on April 7, and during the course of that day, 865,000 different individuals on Facebook in the U.S. generated 1.9 million interactions (likes, posts, comments, shares) related to Rand Paul and his announcement. That’s up from an average of 67,000 people talking about Rand Paul on Facebook over the previous 90 days.

Ted Cruz announced his campaign on March 23. During the course of the 24-hour day, 2.2 million different people on Facebook in the U.S. generated 5.7 million interactions (likes, posts, comments, shares) related to Ted Cruz and his announcement. That’s up from an average of about 70,000 people per day talking about Ted Cruz in the previous 90 days.

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Ted Cruz, therefore, had considerably more buzz on the day of his campaign launch — more than double the amount of individuals talking about him as compared to Rand Paul, and three times as many interactions. It’s possible that Ted Cruz’s announcement generated more conversation because he was the first to jump into the pool, but it’s still noteworthy that he generated a significantly higher number of conversations than Paul did in similar circumstances.

Facebook also provided a breakdown of the top states chattering about each candidate on their launch day. Paul earned the most buzz in his home state of Kentucky, while Cruz was a bigger topic of conversation in Washington D.C., followed by his home state of Texas. Both candidates also generated significant amounts of attention in the key early primary state of New Hampshire.

Top states chattering about Rand Paul (by engagement percentage):

1. Kentucky

2. West Virginia

3. District of Columbia

4. New Hampshire

5. Indiana

Top states chattering about Cruz (by engagement percentage):

1. District of Columbia

2. Texas

3. Virginia

4. Maine

5. Oregon

6. New Hampshire

Additionally, Facebook provided data on the most talked-about political issues associated with each candidate in the week leading up to their announcements. Interestingly, the top issue associated with Paul was LGBT issues — perhaps because of his comments about religious freedom laws and LGBT rights in the previous week.

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The top talked about political topics associated with Rand Paul in the week leading up to Paul’s announcement:

1. LGBT issues

2. Foreign policy and international relations

3. Constitutional issues

The top talked about political topics associated with Ted Cruz in the week leading up to Cruz’s announcement:

1. Foreign policy and international relations

2. Education

3. Energy and the environment

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz

Who got more early buzz: Rand Paul or Ted Cruz?

Updated