Two months to go (until the primary).
Filing has officially ended. The candidates are official. And, just before filing closed, came two new entrants: perennial candidate Jim Snyder of Lexington, and Alex Bradshaw of Icard. That brings the total number of GOP candidates to eight, which is going to make it difficult for Tillis to avoid a runoff. Also, Dr. Greg Brannon’s campaign hit a road bump, with a jury finding him liable of misleading investors. Will that have affected his social media support within the last month?
The first number is Facebook ‘likes’, the second is Twitter followers. The third number is number of new followers since last month. The numbers come from the candidates’ respective campaign accounts. Onward to the rankings!
1. Dr. Greg Brannon (69,133 + 3,302 = 72,435) +4,786
2. Speaker Thom Tillis (52,205 + 8,379 = 60,584) +6,968
3. Sen. Kay Hagan (50,464 + 5,257 = 55,721) +2,857
4. Rev. Mark Harris (2,861 + 2,034 = 4,895) +1,116
5. Heather Grant (955 + 1,616 = 2,571) +416
6. Former Mayor Ted Alexander (1,107 + 748 = 1,855) +687
7. Dr. Edward Kryn (100 + 23 = 123) +26
No campaign accounts were found for Alex Bradshaw or Jim Snyder.
Once again, we find a Brannon/Tillis/Hagan tier, and an ‘everyone else’ tier, led by Rev. Mark Harris. In the month of February, Thom Tillis added the greatest number of new followers, but Brannon is still the social media king, and the jury ruling doesn’t look like it’s affected his appeal (a net loss in followers would have been a strong indication of that). Of the ‘big three’, Hagan added the least new followers. Is this because Tillis and Brannon are engaged in a competitive primary, or does Hagan need to step up her social media game?
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 …
***Former Mayor Ted Alexander +59%***
Rev. Mark Harris +30%
Dr. Edward Kryn +27%
Heather Grant +19%
Speaker Thom Tillis +13%
Dr. Greg Brannon +7%
Sen. Kay Hagan +5%
The Momentumeter says that the candidate with the most momentum, for the second month in a row, is former mayor of Shelby Ted Alexander! Of the ‘big three’, Tillis has the most momentum. Kay Hagan is at the bottom. She has a lot of supporters, but her enthusiasm from the base could be better.
Conclusion: If social media is any indication of support, then both Tillis and Hagan should be worried about Brannon. But will social media translate to actual votes, come election day? It’s tough to say. We do know that among the most engaged GOP primary voters, Brannon is doing well. This is good news for him, especially in the light of recent events. But Tillis is adding new followers at a higher clip. And no matter what, Republicans look to be more enthusiastic ahead of the 2014 midterms.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.