The Internet Caucuses First: Online Engagement and the February 7 Debate

As pundits and political junkies watched the New Hampshire primary results roll in on the evening of Tuesday, February 11, many were surprised to watch Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota cement her position among the top candidates.

However, for those who had been carefully following online engagement before and after the February 7 debate in Manchester, NH, this finish was no surprise. And, Resonate’s AI-driven platform that anonymously analyzes 10 billion daily online events across more than 550 million devices carefully followed the spike in engagement that foreshadowed the February 11 caucus.

Tracking voter behavior with AI-driven insights

In a rapidly changing and diverse American electorate, real-time data on voters is a non-negotiable if candidates are going to stay relevant and compete in the shrinking Democratic primary field.

Resonate’s AI-driven voter insights combined with best-in-class survey research and monitoring both online and offline behaviors reveal a dynamic, nuanced picture of the American voter on an individual level. Resonate’s insights are homegrown from trustworthy sources, served fresh daily and go beyond an analysis of the static voter file combined with third-party data. Resonate’s data goes beyond basic demographics and political party, revealing the why behind voters’ decisions to support a cause or candidate, allowing campaigns to connect with their desired voter segment and persuade them more effectively.

Resonate anonymously analyzes 10 billion daily online events on more than 550 million devices across 2 trillion words on 35,000 topics. AI shows us in real-time which candidates saw the biggest lift or decline in viewings of favorable content about them based on online behavior in the five days prior to, and five days following, the debate. This is what we refer to as the Resonate Candidate Index (RCI). AI reveals a clear picture of where the polls are headed and who the American electorate really views as the winners and losers in each Democratic debate.

Online engagement around the February 7 debate: who won, who lost?

In political commentary immediately following the February 7 debate, there was a near (relative to political terms, of course) consensus that Senator Amy Klobuchar finally had her breakout moment. She took the criticism often reserved for Washington veterans and, instead, leaned on her experience as a unifier in a purple state. And, when looking at the online engagement, the numbers stack up. Her engagement skyrocketed 601% following the February 7 debate –– these are numbers that played out in the February 11 New Hampshire primary where she finished a close third behind Senator Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren saw disappointing performances that failed to earn them a single delegate from New Hampshire and Joe Biden’s 14% increase and Elizabeth Warren’s slightly better 49% increase in online engagement track accordingly.

The outliers are Buttigieg and Representative Tulsi Gabbard. Buttigieg’s online engagement dropped by 39%, yet he finished within 1.3% of Sanders in the primary. Meanwhile, Gabbard did not qualify for the New Hampshire primary, so perhaps moderate voters who wondered why she was not on stage caused her 283% increase in engagement.

A full breakdown of the post-debate increases in online engagement can be seen in the graph below:

Pre/Post Lift of the 8th Democratic Debate

Stay with Resonate throughout the 2020 election season for real-time, AI-driven updates on the Resonate Candidate Index. Our next post-debate engagement check-in will be following the next Democratic debate on February 19, 2020.

Want to go behind the scenes with the AI-driven Ignite platform and learn firsthand how to turn real-time voter insights into action? Schedule a demo today.

Categorized as: Blog Page, Politics & Advocacy

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