As we approach this potentially disastrous but no doubt entertaining election this fall, the folks over at FiveThirtyEight the statistics-obsessed blog started by Nate Silver following his huge success in predicting the results of the 2008 election, taking the name from 538 electors in the U.S. electoral college, and which has already ranked the nation's burritos are ramping up their efforts to help us all get through this year calmly and analytically.
First of all, they are predicting a rout for Hillary in next week's South Carolina primary, with a 95 percent chance of her winning the Democratic vote, with Sanders having a 5 percent chance and they're predicting that Trump has a 60 percent chance on the Republican side.*
But looking ahead to more contests, they've put up an interesting interactive tool today that focuses just on data from Facebook namely Likes associated with all the existing candidates. The tool allows you to zoom in on certain states and only select specific candidates, allowing you to see how, for instance, Sanders and Trump fare in California among Facebook users, which you can see above.
Sanders gets a larger percentage of the coastal Likes, and even in semi-conservative San Diego County, Sanders pulls ahead of Trump 32 to 19 percent. (Zoom in on California here, and then mouse over San Diego to see the figures.) Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is only clocking 12 percent of California's Facebook attention thus far, and when you isolate just her and Bernie, the whole state is awash with Sanders purple.
This makes some sense given that Trump and Sanders are seen as the two most "outsider" candidates who are inspiring the most passion among their supporters, who have likely been filling your feeds with all kinds of chatter these past two weeks the very San Francisco fights I'm seeing among friends re: Bernie vs. Hillary are already very exhausting.
It's a fun tool to play with, but nothing to get too worked up over. Even though 58 percent of American adults use Facebook, the sample here is not representative of voters as FiveThirtyEight notes, "Facebook users are disproportionately young (although not as young as users of other social media networks), low-income and female."
Also, surprisingly, Ben Carson gets a lot of attention among California Facebookers, with 19 percent of likes compared to Trump's 18 percent. But how long is he really going to last in this thing, amirite?
* This post has been corrected to show that Hillary has a 95 percent chance of winning, and not that she's predicted to take 95 percent of the South Carolina vote.