Elections 2012: Recounting the Numbers and Highlights

History was made yet again last Tuesday when Barack Obama was re-elected as the United States’ 44th president, entering a second term with 332 electoral votes compared to Mitt Romney’s 206.

To no one’s surprise, the President’s victory is still being celebrated around the country, making a particular splash by setting record-breaking numbers across a number of social media platforms.

•  Social media news site Mashable reported that Barack Obama’s “Four more years” tweet and picture of him and the First Lady hugging was the most re-tweeted of all time, breaching almost 800,000 re-tweets in under 24 hours.

•  Election Day officially became Facebook’s most talked about event of the year with 88.7 million election-related mentions on Tuesday and 71.7 million mentions earlier in the week.

•  Blogging site Tumblr reported that Obama collected upwards of 75,000 mentions versus Romney’s 35,000 mentions on November 6 alone - with an average of 170 posts per second. Based on collected word-cloud data, Democrat related terms were mentioned at “a much higher rate than Republican ones.”

•  On Instagram, United States citizens used the tag #IVoted for over 100,000 photos uploaded that day, and 150,000 additional photos tagged with #election2012. Overall, photos were being uploaded at 2.1 times the average rate.

While social media had an indisputable presence this election, its clear that the relationship was mutual in that the election provided the candidates with more traffic, heightened attention, and greater user engagement.

Perhaps one of the most significant insights from November 6 was which voter segments were most impacted by last-minute ground support and social media. This year, the Latino community created a significant break-way for Obama. As we discussed in an earlier blog post, an increase of registered Hispanic voters and voter turnout would affect results in swing states, and that is what happened. Turnout numbers, which reached a record 24 million, made an undeniable difference on November 6.

Check out the breakdown by percentage points of which sects of the Latino population showed up at the polls and demonstrated their collective influence. Dominicans held the highest majority at 96% to vote Democrat, while Cubans were the only group who favored Republicans at 54%.

Curiosity also seemed to get the better of the internet-browsing public, who searched “romney campaign” and “mitt romney issues” more than any other political search term for the weeks upcoming to the election.

Though the percentages may seem small, they reflect substantially greater numbers overall and were a telling barometer of what was on everyone’s minds as they neared Election Day.

Congratulations to both candidates for a well-run race to the White House. And to Obama, welcome to another four years in office!

To view Election 2012 highlights, please visit our Event section. We’ll continue to capture political highlights under Politics as we transition into 2013.

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About Rachel Davidson

Rachel is an undergraduate at Santa Clara University studying journalism with a passion for writing and a thirst for adventure. She spends her free time running, hiking, and exploring all other outdoor activities. Hailing from Portland, OR, she considers herself an environmentalist and has studied a number of courses involved in sustainability and eco-justice. Rachel also spends a good deal of time volunteering and impacting her community in the most positive way possible. As the Director of Member Development of her sorority Alpha Phi, she is extremely loyal to the people around her and holds a steadfast dedication to any project she pursues.

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