It’s time for our monthly look at social media likes and follows for the candidates for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. Let me once again reiterate that this is only for entertainment and nothing more. However, an uptick in ‘likes’ for one candidate could mean momentum in their favor.

So far, we haven’t seen much movement or any trends, except that Kay Hagan got a big boost after she announced her support for gay marriage. But other than that, things are more or less the same as they were when we first started in February – in general, the candidates with the highest name recognition have the highest number of social media follows, which should be expected. In the last month, however, we saw the entrance of arguably the first top-tier candidate for the Republicans – Thom Tillis.

Cherie Berry has announced that she’s no longer running, but she didn’t have any social media accounts in the first place. I’m loathe to include Virginia Foxx in the rankings, since it’s clear to me that she’s not running. But she’s still a “potential candidate” so we have to include her.

On to the rankings:

1. Sen. Kay Hagan 12,648 + 15,886 = 28,534 (May total: 27,332) +1,202
2. Rep. Renee Ellmers 5,797 + 8,632 = 14,429 (May total: 13,953) +476
3. Rep. Virginia Foxx 3,756 + 9,958 = 13,714 (May total: 13,412) +302
4. Sen. Phil Berger 1,998 + 3,297 = 5,295 (May total: 5,111) +184
5. Speaker Thom Tillis 1,185 + 3,603 = 4,788 (May total: 4,452) +336
6. Dr. Greg Brannon 1,587 + 418 = 2,005 (May total: 1,708) +297
7. Lynn Wheeler 70 + 752 = 822 (May total: 825) +3

No social media accounts were found for Rev. Mark Harris or Jim Cain.

Once again, the rankings are unchanged. Senator Hagan once again added more followers than anyone else, which is not surprising given that she’s an incumbent running for reelection and the clear nominee for the Democratic Party. On the Republican side, it was actually Renee Ellmers who added the most followers.

As for the two announced candidates, Tillis is clearly in the lead in terms of social media follows. But they added close to the same number of followers. It’s likely that the entrance of Tillis gave Brannon a bit of a boost among voters looking for an alternative.

This little experiment will become much more interesting once several of these candidates drop out. Especially toward the end of the primary season, it should be a somewhat accurate gauge of momentum. Right now though, it’s mostly noise.

John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: johncwynne@gmail.com.

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