Interest in Pete Buttigieg has rapidly increased after his strong performance in the Iowa caucuses according to analysis of social media and online conversation from the Pulsar Primary Index. In terms of digital profile, Buttigieg is now catching up to Bernie Sanders who continues to drive the largest online conversation volume of all Democratic Primary candidates.
In the analysis of more than five million social media and online conversations referencing the Democratic Primary candidates over the past week (2 – 8 February), Sanders continued to drive the largest volume of conversation (more than 1.37million mentions, to Buttigieg’s 0.95million). Interest in Buttigieg has been growing faster, however, with a week-on-week growth rate of 440%. Conversation about Buttigieg also showed the fastest velocity in terms of the level of conversation the candidate is able to drive within a given hour.
Pulsar’s analysis takes five factors into account to evaluate audience interest and engagement. This includes how much social media and online interest the candidate generated; how much momentum there is on social media about the candidate; how much interest on social media the candidate can drive in a given hour; whether the conversation about the candidate is stable and consistent, or highly variable; and to what extent the engagement and conversation about the candidate maintains high volumes over time.
The Pulsar Primary Index also shows that audience interest growing around Mike Bloomberg following the Iowa Democratic Party’s inability to accurately report results of the caucuses and the consequent chaos and uncertainty about the winner. Bloomberg benefited from the mainstream media’s analysis about his prospects following what happened in Iowa, seeing a huge week-on-week growth (+290%) in mentions.
‘Audience interest in Buttigieg has skyrocketed after Iowa, and his momentum has continued to grow even after the New Hampshire debate. While Sanders is still the leader of the pack, it’s the first time in our tracking that we’ve seen another candidate generate a higher Velocity of buzz than Bernie – prior to this, no one else had even come close to attracting as many posts per hour,’ said Pulsar VP of research and US strategy Marc Geffen.
‘The big swing in momentum for Buttigieg suggests that the Iowa caucuses remain a pivotal moment in the primary process and can shift audience perception in a big way. In the last week, Bloomberg has also experienced a huge bump in conversation following the caucuses, benefitting from mainstream media analysis about his prospects given the debacle in Iowa.’