Political junkies get new online tools to track presidential race

With the Republican President Caucus vote in Iowa on Jan. 3 kicking off the election season, new Web and social media tools are being created to track the candidates and their online influence.

Google unveiled its new Google Politics & Elections site on Jan. 3 with news and links, with both U.S. and Egyptian versions. SocialBakers.com online analytics firm launched a new online U.S. Elections 2012 Web service on Jan. 2 allowing users to track social media reach by the candidates, to be updated daily. 

The SocialBakers’ page shows that Mitt Romney has the most Facebook fans of all the GOP presidential candidates, with 1.3 million, followed by Ron Paul, with 672,000, and Michele Bachmann, with 460,000.

Paul was rated first in “viral reach” on Facebook, which was calculated as a combination of “likes” and fans, followed by Romney.

In generating interaction with social media users, Bachmann was ranked first by Social Bakers, followed by Paul, with Romney and Jon Huntsman apparently tied for third place.

The new Google Politics & Elections page offers easy links to news stories about the presidential candidates, YouTube videos featuring the candidates and a presidential election calendar, among other features.

It is the first website that Google has dedicated exclusively to elections, according to an article in Mashable.

The pre-existing U.S. Politics on Facebook page also is actively chronicling news about the presidential race, with about 177,000 fans as of Jan. 3.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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