Social networking sites were uncannily accurate in their predictions of the outcomes of yesterday’s mid-term elections. As Facebook’s “political team” said in a recent presentation, the candidates with more Facebook likes and fans won 74% of House races and 81% of Senate races.
Some notable upsets included Senate candidates Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle, and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who all had plenty of Facebook friends, but ultimately lost their elections.
It’s not as though voters suddenly decided to start wearing their political leanings on their Facebook sleeves. The social media giant has made it particularly easy this year for users to participate in the voting community online. More than 12 million people clicked the “I Voted” button yesterday, a steep increase from the 5.4 million who did so in 2008.
There was also a giant Facebook “buzz wall” which stacked the hottest Senate, House, and Governors races against each other and identified who was creating the most “buzz.” Another application allowed users to weigh in on hot topics like health care, the economy, and gay marriage.