We’ve got a month left until the GOP Senate primary.  Aside from polls, social media might give us a clue as to who might be favored in the race.  More importantly, it can give us a gauge of momentum – who has it, and who is losing it.  We’ll examine the trends by doing the following:

1. Looking at the candidate’s number of Facebook ‘likes’ (the Facebook score)
2. Looking at the candidate’s number of Twitter followers (the Twitter score)
3. Combining them to get the candidate’s ‘social media score’.
4. Then, we compare the scores from last month, looking at not only raw numerical gain, but gain in percentage as well. Last month’s post is here.

Some campaigns are very good when it comes to engaging voters on social media. Others, not so much. As the effect of television advertising decreases, reaching voters through other means becomes more important. Campaigns adept at social media are favored.

The Facebook score is listed first, then the Twitter score. Let’s go!

1. Dr. Greg Brannon 71,735 + 4,135 = 75,870 (March total = 72,435) +3,435
2. Speaker Thom Tillis 57,236 + 9,610 = 66,846 (March total = 60,584) +6,262
3. Sen. Kay Hagan 54,539 + 5,603 = 60,142 (March total = 55,721) +4,421
4. Heather Grant 1,429 + 9,540 = 10,969 (March total = 2,571) +8,398
5. Rev. Mark Harris 7,519 + 2,258 = 9,777 (March total = 4,895) +4,882
6. Former Mayor Ted Alexander 1,345 + 864 = 2,209 (March total = 1,855) +354
7. Dr. Edward Kryn 120 + 33 = 153 (March total = 123) +30

No social media accounts were found for Alex Lee Bradshaw or Jim Snyder.

Dr. Greg Brannon is once again on top. Thom Tillis is second, while Kay Hagan is in third. Since Hagan doesn’t have a competitive primary, engaging voters on social media isn’t as big of a priority, but she might have to ramp it up come the fall.

All the candidates save Alexander and Kryn added thousands of new followers. The most eye-popping number is the 8,398 added by Heather Grant. There’s been debate about whether Greg Brannon or Mark Harris is the anti-Tillis candidate. Perhaps it’s time to add Grant to the mix. She’s the only woman in the race, has a good biography (military background) and appeals to the Tea Party crowd. Will this surge in social media support translate to actual votes on May 6th?



The Momentumeter measures momentum by calculating percentage change in total followers from last month. According to the Momentumeter, the U.S. Senate candidate with the most momentum is …

***Heather Grant +326.64%***

Rev. Mark Harris +99.73%
Dr. Edward Kryn +24.39%
Former Mayor Ted Alexander +19.08%
Speaker Thom Tillis +10.34%
Sen. Kay Hagan +7.93%
Dr. Greg Brannon +4.74%

No surprise – Heather Grant is the candidate with momentum. She’s quadrupled her support over the past month. Most of it has come from an increase in followers on Twitter. Those who want to emulate Grant’s success in this area might want to consider following as many people as possible, in the hopes that they will follow back.

Mark Harris also had a very successful month, doubling his support. Perhaps his taking shots at Tillis and losing his ‘nice guy’ image has helped in this regard. Greg Brannon, on the other hand, seems to have peaked. He’s dead last on the Momentumeter. Of course, he’s first place overall and still has the strongest support on the Internet.

At least on the social media front, Heather Grant and Mark Harris had a great month. Should this support translate to actual votes, this gives them a good shot at seizing the anti-Tillis mantle from Greg Brannon. Of course, it’s possible these numbers mean nothing, but at the very least it’s a look at how the candidates are faring in the increasingly important world of social media.


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