Donald Trump and Jeb Bush are the frontrunners as GOP hopefuls for President of the United States; Hillary Clinton leads the field among Democratic Party candidates. Bernie Sanders is coming on strong only 5 points behind Hillary Clinton in the CNN/WMUR New Hampshire poll. (Click Image To Enlarge)
With 17 major candidates and counting, 2016 presidential candidates — and those who'll likely join them — are increasingly looking for ways to stand out through various social media platforms.
Gone are the days where candidates would raise money and cut television ads. The way the American public follow campaigns and candidates has transformed over the past two election cycles, and social media is at the forefront.
We took a look at the influence potential of each candidate through their various social-media platforms. We measured their followers or subscribers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Some candidates are even turning to Snapchat — a platform that, campaign-wise, remains in its infancy as candidates experiment with it.
Here's a look at each candidate or likely candidate's potential social influence:
Courtesy of an article dated June 24, 2015 appearing in Business Insider
COMMENTARY: Jeb Bush narrowly leads the GOP field in New Hampshire, the state that will host the first primary of the 2016 presidential campaign, but Donald Trump's gains in the state suggest the billionaire businessman is establishing a following in New Hampshire.
The new CNN/WMUR New Hampshire Primary poll finds Trump at 11%, just behind Bush at 16% in a wide open contest for the Republican nomination for president. Bush and Trump are followed by Rand Paul at 9%, Scott Walker at 8%, and Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio both at 6%. Ben Carson and Chris Christie each have 5% support.
All jokes aside, the Republican Party is officially afraid of Donald Trump.
He has virtually zero chance of winning the presidential nomination. But insiders worry that the loud-mouthed mogul is more than just a minor comedic nuisance on cable news; they fret that he’s a loose cannon whose rants about Mexicans and scorched-earth attacks on his rivals will damage the eventual nominee and hurt a party struggling to connect with women and minorities and desperate to win.
Former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer says.
“Donald Trump is like watching a roadside accident. Everybody pulls over to see the mess. And Trump thinks that’s entertainment. But running for president is serious. And the risk for the party is he tarnishes everybody.”
Those risks were amplified this week after a trio of polls showed him likely to earn a coveted invitation to the party’s debates, which ironically were restructured with the very goal of avoiding the circus-like atmosphere of 2012. Giving Trump a major platform just as the country is tuning in is not exactly the Big Tent the party’s bigwigs had in mind..
An unnamed RNC member confessed.
“I’m not excited about somebody as divisive as Trump or somebody as obnoxious as Trump being on the debate stage.”
Trump currently sits in eighth place among Republicans, according to the RealClearPolitics’ average of national polls — ahead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. And this week, he came in second in two New Hampshire polls and in a Fox News national poll, finishing behind only former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in all three.
Hillary Clinton appeared to be the front-runner among Democrats running for president until Senator Bernie Sanders (DEM - Vermont) entered the race. Keep in mind however, that Vermont is next door to New Hampshire, and New Hampshire voters are very familiar with Bernie, and this raises his popularity considerably. Clinton leads Sanders by only 5 points -- 43% to 38%.
Click Image To Enlarge
These political polls can change overnight. With just one good debate, anyone of these front-runners for either party could vault right to the top in the ratings. There is still plenty of time for some of them to screw up (e.g. Mitt Romney's "47%" comment). I am betting that Trump will be the biggest screw-up. However, even with his reputation for making controversial remarks, he has something the other candidates do not have. A very successful trackrecord as a businessman and job creator and strong celebrity status as the host of The Apprentice and countless TV appearances. Trump has branded himself like no other Republican candidate.
To insure that the Trump brand does not get tarnished, he continues to communicate with his fans on Facebook (1.9 million fans) and on Twitter (3 million followers). However, according to Business Insider, only 42% of his fans on Facebook are Americans. The rest are foreigners. His political slogan is "Make America Great Again." Very catchy, but the same slogan was used by Ronald Reagan. To make it his, The Donald has applied for a patent on the slogan. That's ballsey.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for President is no slouch when it comes to using social media. She also has a very strong following on Twitter (3.77 million followers) and Facebook (978K fans). From what I could tell, Hillary Clinton does not have a political slogan, but a simple (albeit controversial) campaign logo that looks like this:
Hillary's campaign logo has been criticized for being "uninspiring", "weird" and "saying nothing" (Washington Post), but it is meant to convey "hope for America" through Hillary (the BIG H) and the big red arrow symbolizes a forward looking belief that America can "move on" to bigger and better things as a nation if you elect her as US President.
Montenico Montanaro of NPR.org says,
"Clinton's simple logo, though, is certainly saying something now. On Tuesday, the day of the Supreme Court oral arguments on gay marriage, her H on both Facebook and Twitter were changed to rainbow-colored.
And it's not the only example of how the campaign has tried to adapt the logo. For Iowa, the background is an open field with corn in the foreground. For New Hampshire, mountains.
It's kind of becoming the Empire State Building of presidential campaign logos — changing colors to celebrate any variety of milestones and holidays, from pink for breast cancer awareness to red, white and blue for Memorial Day to "pastel fades" for Easter. (The Empire State Building has a whole calendar of scheduled colors.)"
Hillary's presidential campaign logo certainly reminds you of how Google adapts its logo on an almost daily basis to represent causes, holidays, etc.
It's Hillary In A Landslide Over The Donald
Democratic pollster Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling just tested a matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the Bluegrass State, and the results are, simply, hilarious. Even though Clinton currently trails the rest of the GOP pack by anywhere from 5 to 10 points in Kentucky, she leads Trump by a 45-42 margin.
Imagine that! A Democrat winning Kentucky! That hasn't happened in 20 years, when Bill Clinton edged out Bob Dole by a single point. It just shows how truly despised Trump is, but it also leaves us giggling over a follow-up question: What would happen if this 26-point swing were replicated nationwide?
Jensen has Clinton winning an insane 45 states and taking a beyond-comical 513 electoral votes to just 25 for The Donald. That's an FDR-level landslide, leaving Trump with just a teeny outpost of red in the far west, plus a dot here for Oklahoma and there for West Virginia. That's it, and nothing more. (Click here for a complete state-by-state breakdown of the carnage.). Here's that landslide map again:
What a Hillary Clinton electoral vote landslide would like like if she ran against Donald Trump in the 2016 General Election for US President (Click Image To Enlarge)
Trump is a showman with a huge ego. He is flamboyant and loves to be in front of the camera, and you can bet that his handlers will make sure he gets a lot of exposure off and on the campaign trail. He always has something to say, and doesn't regret what he says, and doesn't apologize if he hurts feelings. This is the sort of thing that launched Ronald Reagan into office. This is what is often referred as being "genuine." What you see is what you get. Sarah Palin was also "genuine," and Republicans were soon to find out how dumb she was. A genuine liability. The Donald is not a repeat performance of Sarah Palin. He's smart, shrewd and not afraid to say what is on his mind. Genuine. He understands the importance of marketing, especially social media. Many Americans are mesmerized by Donald Trump. He has a serious following, and should not be underestimated. He knows that marketing, showmanship and boldness are all part of politics. He has the financial means to run a Presidential campaign, and you can bet that social media will be an important element of the marketing mix.
Courtesy of an article dated June 24, 2015 appearing in Business Insider, an article dated June 26, 2015 appearing in Politico, an article dated June 25, 2015 appearing in CNN News, and an article dated June 24, 2015 appearing in the Daily KOS