Surprising Election Predictor: Facebook

Twitter may have done well, too
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2010 11:35 AM CDT
Harry Reid was one of only a few who won despite having fewer Facebook friends than his opponent.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – Who needs polls? If you want to know who will win an election, maybe you just need to see who has more fans on Facebook. The candidate with the biggest following prevailed in 74% of House contests and 81% of Senate ones, according to the site’s blog. There were, however, a handful of highly-hyped exceptions, like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, who lost despite their online dominance, Fast Company observes.

There are some early indications that Twitter may have been just as accurate, if not more. One company, for example, used an advanced algorithm to analyze Twitter conversations about the Nevada Senate race, and predicted that Harry Reid would beat Angle 55% to 45%, which turned out to be closer to the actual result than the polls, which largely had Angle ahead.

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