Did Last Republican Debate Affect Facebook Fan Counts?

By Jennifer Moire Comment

Is the last Republican presidential primary debate — before the first votes of the 2012 elections are cast next month in the U.S. — a boon to the candidates’ popularity on Facebook?

Going into the Fox News debate, polls show the debate tightening between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, with Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman polling well in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively.

My own Facebook news feed was steady with comments throughout the debate, a sampling of some of the zanier comments are captured below.

Did the negative attacks on Newt Gingrich during the debate and in advertising this week affect his standings in the other race — for Facebook fans? Did Mitt Romney’s steady showing in the debate do anything to boost his already strong Facebook fan base? Did solid debate performances by Michelle Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum do anything to grow or detract from their support on Facebook?

Our 2012 Election Tracker has the answers.

  • The overall Facebook fan standings among the candidates hasn’t changed significantly since the last debate; Mitt Romney still leads with over 1.2 million fans as of this writing.
  • Gingrich saw drop in fans in 24-hour between 14 and 15

Catch a glimpse of the Election Tracker graphic here with the current crop of candidates, because, depending on their showing in the Iowa caucus on January 3, 2012, it could be the last time you’ll see some of these politicians in the debates.