Super Tuesday and Super Saturday have come and gone, but especially in this unusual election, a candidate’s social media platforms are a significant part of his or her campaign success. Some of the GOP candidates are working harder than others to make stronger cases for themselves in social media.
The “Hemingway of 140 Characters,” Donald Trump invests a lot into his social media platforms. He uses them to attack rivals across all aisles, to highlight favorable poll numbers, and to make the case that he can make America great again. The message is focused and full of a single concept: winning. In the social media stratosphere, he’s still the leader of the pack.
The appeal of Trump’s candidacy and social media is wrapped in a public engaged with Trump’s celebrity outsider status and hyperbolic rhetoric that makes waves in daily news cycles. He is also clearly very hands-on with his Twitter handle, trademarked with Trump’s brash opinions and disregard for political correctness or party platforms. Trump uses Twitter extensively - he updates every couple of minutes with biting responses to rivals and news stories, announcements of public appearances, and to thank his supporters. Trump’s Twitter account is the life pulse of his digital campaign, and news stories are written daily about his every comment, though a few more pictures would probably push it even farther forward.
Current number of delegates: 384 (out of 1,237 needed)
Twitter: 6.72M Followers (31.2K Tweets)
Facebook: 6.2M Likes
Instagram: 1.1M Followers (585 posts)
Ted Cruz brands himself as an “outsider,” albeit the family-friendly alternative to Trump. During both Super Tuesday and Super Saturday, he did the best of the Trump contenders. Cruz seems to be learning to use social media better and more often, shifting from using it just to tell where he would be arriving back in November, to using it much more to share some of his message, as well as retweeting items now and then. Occasionally, Cruz’s voice comes through to thank his family and supporters or to respond to a trending news story.
Cruz has been switching his campaign approach to some degree and almost campaigning as the best chance to win if someone is NOT a Trump supporter. With the number of people on both sides of that coin, it’s not a bad move temporarily, but he needs to keep a balance between “Vote for me, I’m not Trump” and getting across the message of his campaign and sharing his personality more in the process. It should be noted that since November Trump tweeted approximately 1K posts while Cruz did more than 2K. Cruz is pushing hard on that platform.
Current number of delegates: 300
Twitter: 904K Followers (14.8K Tweets)
Facebook: 2.01M Likes
Instagram: 100K Followers (156 posts)
Marco Rubio is running as the candidate who claims he can unite the party. With a firm stance on immigration and gun control, Rubio is currently polling in 3rd place. A lot of his personal voice takes aim at Hillary Clinton while his advertisements reassert party platforms. On occasion, Rubio will multi-tweet a long statement to specific trending political stories – like a five-part tweet in response to nuclear activity in North Korea. Additionally, his Twitter plugs tv ads, contests, and keeps to his campaign’s core message. And if you’re wondering, he has added just under 1K posts on Twitter since November.
Current number of delegates: 151
Twitter: 1.3M Followers (5,239 Tweets)
Likes Instagram: 109K Followers (415 posts)
The Governor from Ohio, John Kasich is just barely making the national polling. Kasich uses his Twitter to inform voters of his upcoming television spots and to tout rising poll numbers in New Hampshire. It also showcases clips of town hall meetings and roundtable discussions in the early states. Most of his Twitter feed is retweets and rarely does a personal voice come through. He’s added about 1,500 tweets since November.
Current number of delegates: 37
Twitter: 222K Followers (7,543 Tweets)
Facebook: 236.5K Likes
Instagram: 19K Followers (264)
Social media is where it's at.
The Freedom Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Therefore we do not endorse political candidates either in primary or general elections. However, as defenders of America’s social contract, we insist that the rules laid down by both parties at the outset of campaigns be respected, and that the results be decided by free elections. We will oppose any attempt to rig the system and deny voters of either party their constitutional right to elect candidates of their choice.