(COMBO) This combination of images, taken on October 22, 2020, shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) … [+]
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While candidates are starting the final sprint before election day, the polls suggest former Vice President Joe Biden’s race to lose – but the polls were wrong four years ago and are certainly not the only indicator of who will come out top this choice. Social media, which has certainly changed the way candidates reached voters, could also provide some insight into who will actually win the race next Tuesday.
According to data from Embee Mobile’s Real-Time 2020 Election Tracker, which is updated in near real time, President Donald Trump has retained a slight advantage over Biden based on the opinions of Facebook users – but Biden is ousting Trump on Instagram, LinkdeIn, Reddit and Snapchat and Tik Tok.
“The way Embee Mobile receives its data is completely different from any other poll. We involve people differently, it’s proprietary and it’s balanced like the way people voted in 2016 and not by party association,” explained Russell Tillitt, Founder and CEO of Embee Handy, Mobile Phone. “This is important because if there is systematic bias between the major polling stations due to a common assumption or turnout model, we should find differences between our results and their results. However, our top-line results are broadly similar to those of the major polls. However, because of the data available to us deeper insights. “
The simplest argument as to why the various social media platforms are predicting a different outcome on Tuesday (if the results are known by then) is based on the platform’s demographics.
“This reflects the demographics of the three locations and the makeup of the national electorate,” said Lawrence Parnell, associate professor and director of the strategic outreach program at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.
“Facebook users are older and likely more conservative and / or Republican. LinkedIn users are split across multiple age groups of voters. Redditt tends to be younger compared to the other two, and its users are likely registered Democrats – or opposed.” look like that. ” added Parnell. “As such, it is important in that it confirms the demographic makeup of the two candidates’ supporters.”
Different like-minded groups
Facebook is also far better suited for “groups” where like-minded users can share and discuss their thoughts on the topics that interest them. However, other demographics could come into play as well, including the fact that both LinkedIn and Reddit are simply leaning towards a younger, and especially better educated, demographic than Facebook. This has resulted in the issues not being discussed.
“Traditionally, younger, better-educated voters have leaned to the left,” suggested Dr. Tarshia Stanley, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences at St. Catherine University. “LinkedIn was originally more business and career-oriented, although lately it has become a place where individuals and companies put their sociopolitical ideologies to the test.”
The new media
This isn’t the first choice on social media, but the platforms have evolved with each election cycle. However, this could be the first time it is used not only for candidates to connect with an audience, but also as an election platform to see how Americans could vote.
“Many recognize President Obama’s first presidential campaign as the entry point for social media to influence our mainstream politics,” said Dr. Kent Bausman, professor in the online sociology program at Maryville University.
“Interestingly, a recent study in May that looked at the effects of social media use on political posts found that the effects of social media on the generation of monetary contributions were minimally significant,” added Bausman. “What was particularly fascinating, however, was that the impact was actually greater for ‘new’ rather than ‘incumbent’ political candidates. In that sense, the emergence of social media has served as a counterbalance to the deeply funded political machines that many incumbent candidates have detected.”
Where are the wedges?
One final actor to consider is that there really are no “wedge issues” being discussed by candidates this cycle – aside from how anyone would deal with the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. By and large, Trump supporters and Biden supporters are simply talking about different topics.
“What interests conservative, Trump-minded voters most – ahead of gun rights, abortion, etc. – is that their first adjustment rights are at risk,” said Tillitt. “This group of people who are very active on Facebook feel that their voices are being suppressed by tech companies, the government, their employers, and political correctness. They also care more about the economy than about the pandemic. LinkedIn Users are most concerned about healthcare and the economy, and with this group, First Amendment issues are not registered at all. So we have two completely separate problem areas. “
This is markedly different from previous elections, where there was such a wedge that all Americans agreed that they were important, but generally disagreed on what to do about it.
“In this election, different groups of voters care about significantly different issues – one group is dealing with First Amendment issues, the other group doesn’t even know it’s a problem,” Tillitt added. “In other words, there are no more wedge problems. We have two different groups of people who live in universes with parallel problems.”
They also communicate on various social media platforms. The result is that any candidate winning the country is unlikely to get together anytime soon.