If the presidential election were held today, Barack Obama/Joe Biden, the Democrats would get 36.7 percent of the vote, and Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan, the Republicans would get 36.1 percent of the vote, according to Google consumer surveys. Another 8.1 percent is leaning toward Obama/Biden, while 8.4 percent is leaning toward Romney/Ryan. And 10.7 percent would vote for a third party ticket or is undecided.
But, if the presidential election were held today, who would win the YouTube vote?
When YouTube introduced the YouTube Elections Hub on Aug. 22, 2012, it eliminated an interactive chart that compared the number of views that each of the candidates had received over the past week or month.
Fortunately, the Unruly 2012 Election Tracker was launched on Sept. 10, 2012. This interactive infographic tracks the number of shares each candidate’s video content receives across Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere, using exclusive data from Unruly’s Viral Video Chart.
As of today, Obama had 53 percent of the total shares (6,904,097) and Romney had 47 percent (6,054,140). When you break this down, Obama had 69 percent of the ads shared on blogs (5,822), 86 percent of the ads shared on Twitter (610,355), and 51 percent of the ads shared on Facebook (6,287,920). By comparison, Romney had 31 percent of the ads shared on blogs (2,557), 14 percent of the ads shared on Twitter (100.025), and 49 percent of the ads shared on Facebook (5,951,558).
Romney’s ads had 57 percent of the comments (141,972) but 38 percent of the views (37,394,432). Obama’s ads had 43 percent of the comments (108,019) but 62 percent of the views (60,924,442).
The Unruly 2012 Election Tracker also shows the 10 most shared ads over the last 7 days for both candidates.
As of today, the ad most shared by Obama supporters was A Message from The Greatest Generation (NSFW) from MoveOn.org. (Note: The language in this video contains adult content. So, you may want to put on headphones if you play it at work.)
The top ad shared by Romney supporters was “We’ve Heard It All Before” (Extended Cut) from the Republican National Committee.
The No. 2 ad shared ad by Obama supporters was “Yes We Plan” - Mary J. Blige, Julianne Moore, & Q-Tip Speak Out With Planned Parenthood Action Fund from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
The No. 2 ad shared by Romney supporters was Crushed By Your Policies from Mitt Romney’s channel.
The No. 3 ad shared by Obama supporters was Will Ferrell Will Do Anything to Get You to Vote from BarackObama.com.
The No. 3 ad shared by Romney supporters was Who Will Do More from Mitt Romney’s channel.
Does it really matter who wins the YouTube vote if the presidential election were held today?
On Friday, Nov. 2, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project issued a report on Online Political Videos and Campaign 2012. Pew found that 55 percent of registered voters have watched political videos online this election season.
Pew asked about six different types of political videos and found that, among registered voters who use the internet:
- 48 percent watch video news reports about the election or politics.
- 40 percent watch previously recorded videos of candidate speeches, press conferences, or debates.
- 39 percent watch informational videos online that explain a political issue.
- 37 percent watch humorous or parody videos dealing with political issues.
- 36 percent watch political advertisements online.
- 28 percent watch live videos of candidate speeches, press conferences, or debates.
Pew also found that political videos are highly social. Some 52 percent of registered voters say that other people have recommended political videos for them to watch this election season, with social networking sites playing a prominent role in this process. In addition, 19 percent of registered voters have recommended online political videos for other people to watch.
What does this mean to marketers? It means YouTube has reached a tipping point. It may not reach 100 percent of registered voters yet, but 55 percent is enough to decide the winner of the 2012 presidential election. And the key to reaching the 52 percent of people who watch what other people have recommended to them is reaching the 19 percent of registered voters who encourage others to watch online videos related to political issues.
Some marketers call the 19 percent “opinion leaders.” Others call them “influencers.” Whatever you call them, they are as likely to determine the outcome of tomorrow’s presidential election as any of the demographic groups that the mainstream media has already examined ad nauseum.