A recent study from good government watch site OhMyGov shows the GOP widening its social media gap over Democrats. Drawing on figures from May to August of this year, the research shows Republican Facebook fan subscriptions, or "Likes," increasing at a 35 percent rate compared with the 22 percent rate achieved by Democrats. In the House alone, Republicans jumped 49 percent, dwarfing a 26 percent increase by Democrats.
Democrats made their best showing in the Senate in terms of percentage gains, falling in a "statistically insignificant difference" of 20 percent to 17 percent. Nevertheless, despite a 57-41 Democratic seat advantage, Senate Republicans triple the overall "Like" count of Democrats, who are once again left wondering why John McCain (693,045 fans) is so darn popular on Facebook.
Overall, Republican Congress members are clearly the social Web superstars, claiming 2,148,619 fans compared with a mere 952,847 Democratic fans as of Aug. 31. This massive gap occurs in spite of Democrats claiming higher gains in six of 10 regions studied, meaning that when Republicans win on Facebook, they win big.
Researchers believe that their measurements demonstrate the fighting energy Republican candidates are carrying into upcoming midterm elections. As OhMyGov's Mark Malseed points out, the implication of the study "further fuels speculation that the November elections could bring about a change in power on Capitol Hill."
At least one figure on the Democratic side knows how to utilize social media, and yep, it's probably the one you'd expect. By Election Day 2008, President-to-be Barack Obama (formerly cool with the kids) boasted more than 2 million Facebook supporters and 112,000 Twitter followers, compared with McCain's 600,000 Facebook fans and 4,600 Twitter followers. For a time, he was even more of a Facebook giant than our nation's most treasured cultural icon, Lady Gaga, but she's since eclipsed him with nearly 20 million fans to his current total of about 15 million.
Will this be a wake-up "Poke" for Democrats? Only the November elections will show if Republicans can really trust their Facebook friends.
Below is the full version of the study.
Follow Surge Desk on Twitter.