It has come to my attention that the latest post on social media follows is in error. Up until now, I have been using Speaker Tillis’s Facebook page as an incumbent House member in order to calculate his number of followers. What I should have been using was the Facebook page for his Senate campaign, which has only been established recently and not surprisingly has a lot more followers. This adjustment substantially boosts Tillis in the rankings:
1. Sen. Kay Hagan 13,359 + 18,014 = 31,373 (June total = 28,534) +2,839
2. Speaker Thom Tillis 12,046 + 4,102 = 16,148 (June total = 4,788) +11,360
3. Rep. Virginia Foxx 3,833 + 10,467 = 14,300 (June total = 13,714) +586
4. Sen. Phil Berger 2,054 + 3,535 = 5,589 (June total = 5,295) +294
5. Dr. Greg Brannon 3,419 + 538 = 3,957 (June total = 2,005) +1,952
6. Lynn Wheeler 74 + 782 = 856 (June total = 822) +34
7. Heather Grant 381 + 61 = 442 (June total = N/A) N/A
In terms of social media followers, Tillis now leads the Republican field. Close behind is Virginia Foxx, who is not an announced candidate and will probably not run.
In the future, those candidates who have announced will have their totals accumulated from their official Facebook or Twitter campaign accounts. If, say, Phil Berger runs, then he will probably create an official Facebook/Twitter page for his campaign separate from his Senate account. In that case, he will start from zero followers. This will make it difficult to compare trendlines sometimes, but this isn’t scientific anyway. The results here will become more meaningful (or at least, more meaningful than they are now) as the field gets settled.
For now, though, Team Tillis can find comfort in that they currently lead the Republican pack, at least in terms of social media followers. Any candidate seeking to be the Republican nominee in 2014 is going to need strong grassroots support, and in modern politics that starts with a presence on social media.