Social media’s role in American politics seems to grow at an exponential rate every day. And on Tuesday, that role is taking another major step forward amidst the Iowa Caucuses – the first major Republican primary contest of the 2012 presidential election season.
The challenge for Twitter? Can it really predict the outcome of tonight’s caucuses – at least to a more accurate degree than major network news polls?
To find out, the folks at Mashable have teamed up with Global Point Research.
According to the Washington Post, “Globalpoint surveyed Twitter mentions of each of the candidates that also included mentions of Iowa, the #iacaucus and other Iowa-related terms from Dec. 24-29.”
So far, the Twitter mood as measured by its users is largely showing that which major news agencies are reporting – tonight’s contest is primarily between Texas Congressman Ron Paul and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
But Twitter suggests that a “better-than-expected showing” for Rick Santorum and Rick Perry could manifest Tuesday – something the national media organizations aren’t presently acknowledging to the same degree.
Will the Twitter experiment prove just how accurate social media can be at predicting the mood and voting intentions of voters?
I guess we’ll see before the night is finished.
In the big picture, we all know social media can influence the outcome of an election, but do you think it can predict a winner better than traditional polls and surveys?