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.

Want to join the conversation via charts? Sign-up, share or publish to ChartChannel under one of our nine key content categories. Happy charting!

The Race to the Finish Line

Finish lines are what today’s all about, a finish line that will be a defining milestone in American history. U.S. Elections 2012 is in full swing and expected to draw over 50MM eligible voter with millions more around the world watching to see what the outcome will be.

A staggering $2.6BN has been invested to influence the outcome of today. So from which demographics, regions and for what reasons and issue will we see the next Commander and Chief rise from?  The hours ahead will tell us.

For now, join us on a walk down memory lane of the race to today.


Healthcare (“Obamacare”)

The 47%


Big Bird

Binder Full of Women (This should have been a chart. Instead, we’ll give a popular cartoon that emerged post debates.)











Most Influential Voter Segments



Rock the vote in your neighborhood community and keep following the news by charts via email, web or Pulse Politics (now live!).

The Final Countdown

Less than a week until Election Day, and the race is neck in neck. Across all polls, both candidates are ranked almost exactly the same, making the next president even more difficult to predict. Who will be the next to fill the White House?

In this past week, Pew Research and ABC News/Washington Post’s followers were identically split in their favoring of either Mitt or Barack at 47% and 49%, respectively. The greatest variance in numbers out of the sites above is Gallup, whose participants favored Romney over Obama by 6 percentage points.

So, what do these numbers mean for Tuesday’s turnout? Fact is, many have already cast their ballot, and while each of these websites are reputable sources, their audiences may be limited and are reflective of only a small audience range. Which leave us wondering, waiting and glued to final result announcements in coming days.

Continue to follow the conversation via data-driven stories on our Elections 2012 ChartChannel page to see who else is talking about each presidential party, and see if your own prediction comes true.

(Chart) Content Marketing - An Essential Ingredient for Next Gen Media & Marketing

At iCharts we often get questions from inside and outside about our value proposition. Truth be told, our story (our value prop) has evolved over the years and while our core strengths haven’t changed…the why and when you use iCharts has shifted with an ever-changing media industry.

So how’s that?

1 - iCharts’ core strength is data processing and publishing. Built by BI and SaaS experts, our charting application was first-in-market as a cloud-based solution for publishing data from Excel, Google Spreadsheets, Data API Connectors and manual data entry tables. All of this enabled users to publish data-driven information in near real time on the web, bridging gaps that had previously existed between data sources and everyday consumers.

2 - The hidden gem at iCharts has been real-time data distribution with SEO-enriched chart templates, enabling end-users to increase their audience reach by 4x. comScore, IDC and MarketWatch have stumbled upon this and now publish hundreds of press releases per year with embeddable iCharts to help bring news stories to life, while also having the flexibility to update and refresh the charts on the fly as needed..

3 - The emerging value prop is the role that (chart) content plays in extending a user’s brand under the larger umbrella of great, visual Marketing. Brands on iCharts now (visually) attract extended audiences who seek data-rich stories about the world around them, in bite-size formats that are easy to read and share online. The end output? Multiple touch points between end-users and audiences: their website/blog, various community or industry chart re-embeds, social shares, and now iCharts’ ChartChannel community.

#3 (content) is the future of media
and marketing and includes a wide range of essential, visual formats that accelerate Marketing efforts:

  • Interactive Charts
  • Infographics
  • Video
  • Photos, such as what you’d see on Pinterest or Instagram

The upside for all involved in the online publishing ecosystem? The ability to share information faster and in ways that inform and engage.

How will you join the rank the ranks of publishers, marketers and individuals who use chart content to distribute data-rich stories? Learn about iCharts or contact us for more information.

Election Themes and Debate Schemes

Elections fever is in full swing with ballots due in less than two weeks, and Americans are taking to heart everything each candidate says.

In the third and final presidential debate, Obama and Romney voiced over each others opinions about the topic of the evening: Foreign Policy. Each candidate deliberated what their plans were for Libya, Iran, and Israel while ABC News provided audiences with a cheat sheet to recap all that was said.

Previous to the debate night, Gallup conducted a poll asking men and women which topics would influence their votes the most on Election Day. Unemployment, international issues, healthcare, deficit and debt, and birth control were all under the spotlight as key determinants for the 2012 race.

The poll results indicate that men and women - for the majority of the time - agree on the importance of most issues. But there is a substantial difference in the way that either gender view the relevance of foreign policy when casting their ballot. A difference of 7% shows that women are more concerned about the way that either Obama or Romney would handle international issues, as opposed to other hot topics.

Understandably, women and men also differed significantly on the issue of birth control, where women pegged this topic as important 21% more than men did. And even though foreign policy was high on women’s list, their main priority still lay with unemployment, only 2% below what men voted.

How will these issues shape your opinion of either candidate on Election Day? Stay tuned for more coverage on these topics and more on ChartChannel/Elections 2012.

iCharts Launches Publish-to-ChartChannel For Subscribers, Releasing Over 16,000 Charts

Publishing and sharing publicly just got a little easier for iCharts users. How?

iCharts users can now showcase their charting masterpieces with the world using a publish-to-ChartChannel feature (see below in-Product share/publish screenshot) and is available to all subscribers with public charts. Given this new feature, public charts on iCharts now total 16,000 and growing daily with data-driven stories spanning Business, the Economy, Lifestyle, Entertainment and more.

To read the full press release, visit here.

To learn more about how this impacts new and existing iCharts users, visit one of these FAQ links (General | Advanced), our User Guide, or Contact Us directly.


Hit or Miss? Tracking Presidential Candidate Website Traffic

Over the last few decades, the internet has evolved into a treasure trove of information, research, and data. Most of us turn to the web as an all-knowing resource whenever we have questions to be asked or itches to be scratched.

As we’ve discussed before, social media users have a notable influence in the way people vote. Not only is it easier to share information via social networks, but these collective communities tend to vote similarly. (See related Mashable story)

But how else can the internet predict where voters might cast their ballot? We turn to the first place any campaign-information-craving citizen would go: the official website of each presidential candidate.

Experian‘s Hitwise division has been partnered with iCharts since June to showcase the ebb and flow of traffic based on pivotal campaign events and organic inquiries of citizens seeking information. It’s easy to understand why the numbers rise steadily as we get closer to elections, but there are a number of areas where spikes in website clicks call our attention to the events circling that date.

For example, in the last 90 days the biggest increase in online traffic to Obama’s website happened between September 6 and 7; the same day that the Democratic National Convention was held and the subsequent day when media was abuzz with stats and facts from his speech. The same spike occured for Romney on the day he gave his GOP Convention Speech. Yet no matter how large the scale of any Republican event or speech, the hits on Romney’s website have not come close to the President’s.

So, what does this data mean for Election Day results? Truth is, it could be telling of many things:

  • People simply want to know more about each candidate’s policies and they’re reading up on campaign updates.
  • The demographics of online behavior are beginning to shape offline behavior. Undeniably search and social traffic is driven by key age groups and backgrounds.
  • Or, new voter registration, volunteering or donating to either campaign are on the rise.

But the biggest mystery - do these numbers reflect who will receive more votes on November 6?

Let us know what lingering questions you have about the campaigns and keep an eye out on our Live! Elections 2012 ChartChannel to see what topics are trending across the nation.

Elections Fever: Swing State Trends, Voter Turnout and Controversy

T-minus 21 days to Elections Day, November 6!
Will you vote? How will you vote?

Election fever is reaching a new pitch and, like many others, iCharts continues to track milestones and highlights by-the-numbers to document the course of this year’s political story. A few themes have become stand-outs as the world debates what will define results on November 6. Below are a few we’ve been tracking at iCharts.

Swing States Twitter Trends

There are seven states we’re capturing Twitter mentions for on a weekly basis with a little help from Peoplebrowsr’s API. Curious what last week looked like? Check out trends, by state, based on Twitter candidate mentions for week ending October 13.

New Hampshire

Voter Turnout 

For as much buzz as the Presidential Elections get every four years, only 64.1% turned out to the polls in 2008. It was seen at the biggest turnout since 1908, with a higher-than-norm appearance from the Democratic party and lag amongst Republicans.

In 2008, the boost for the Democratic party came largely from higher-than-average turnout rates amongst the Hispanic and African-American community. In 2012, it remains to be seen if this trend will carry forward as new voter registrations for these demographics and young people have been going down in recent years.

Controversial Topics

Over coming weeks you’ll continue to see iCharts publish data points about opinions on government control (see below chart), foreign policy, job creation and healthcare.

What topics are you most focused on to make your choice on November 6? We’d love to hear from you to spark new charting projects through November.

Changing Minds May Change the Tides

Last Wednesday’s presidential debate was surprising not for all that was said, but in the way that the hour and a half long segment changed the way that the country saw each candidate. Social media was buzzing about both Obama and Romney’s performances, almost even more than the actual topics either was covering.

Pew Research Center compared the public’s perceptions for each candidate the three days following the October 4th debate with information collected weeks before - and the results were telling.

The data shows a significant difference in public opinion between the two time periods.

The first we can see is the rising belief that Romney is a strong leader, tying him with Obama at 44%; whereas before, the Democratic party had a noticeable lead at 51%.

Another standout comparison is Obama’s continuing lead over Romney on being able to connect well with ordinary Americans. However, this number is down 7% since Romney’s performance at the debate, clearly indicating how Americans’ perspectives changed about the Republican candidate.

It seems as though some may have lost confidence in their contender, while others found theirs in the opposing side. Could this have changed after last night’s vice presidential debates? Will any of these figures have enough impact to sway the vote come Election Day?

Only 27 days until these questions and more are answered. Be sure to keep an eye on our Live! Elections 2012 page for weekly updated charts, keeping you current on hot topics circling around this year’s presidential race.

Want to learn more about iCharts? Sign-up for our next monthly live! demo webinar on October 17th.

Elections and Technology: The Transformational Shifts of 2012

At iCharts, it’s fair to say we’re a little data obsessed. We’re particularly data obsessed as it relates to this year’s U.S. Presidential Election.

Why? Because we’re witnessing, first-hand, dramatic shifts in how voters and politicians interact with one another based on technological advances in recent years.  Entertaining or serious, it’s come a long way in four years and even farther in the last two hundred.

Campaign Tracking in the 1800s







Campaign Tracking in 2012







Mashable’s Politics Transformed
 has had some great observations about this shift, highlighting a wide array of factors, all fueled by technological advances, that are shifting political behavior.

Real-Time Communications Have Been Accelerated By…

  • Mobile platforms and increased use of such as primary or secondary news sources
  • Social networks (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) where over 30% of the world spends their time on a daily basis. An Experian-Hitwise chart on iCharts puts more emphasis on this, showing week-over-week how Social consistently leads the pack on where voters seek and share information about candidates.

We Have More Accessibility to (Decision-Driving) Data

  • InfoUSA, Acxiom, Votizen and more are defining how User Data is collected to improve voter targeting via email, social, display media and search channels.
  • Candidate Data is also more rapidly collected and shared, be it poll stats, funding-raising information, or an analysis of how xyz candidate is marketing themselves on the web.

Visual Social Marketing Is the New Form of Communication

  • We touched on this topic a few weeks ago, but worth noting again that visualization tools are changing the way we share information. The explosion of cloud-based interactive, design and data-rich visualizations are proof that how-we-consume-content has changed forever.  Marketers and political candidates alike must face the reality that technology has sped up the frequency and format in how we engage with news, creating an insatiable appetite for uber visual, bite-size news stories versus long-form, text-centric articles.

Which elements do you believe will define which candidate wins on Election Day?