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This article was published on August 1, 2012

Twitter launches Political Index to track sentiment around the US presidential election

Twitter launches Political Index to track sentiment around the US presidential election

No doubt you’re going to hear the phrase ‘Twitter election’ about a million times between now and the US election date. Not least on the Twitter blog itself which has announced the launch of its Political Index for tracking sentiment around the forthcoming vote.

Use the index to find out what people on Twitter are feeling about the various candidates and see if you think you can predict the outcome from the changes in mood as the days pass.

The Twitter Political Index is built-in partnership with the data analysis team at Topsy along with polling firms The Mellman Group and North Star Opinion Research.

According to the blog post, “Each day, the Index evaluates and weighs the sentiment of Tweets mentioning Obama or Romney relative to the more than 400 million Tweets sent on all other topics. For example, a score of 73 for a candidate indicates that Tweets containing their name or account name are on average more positive than 73 percent of all Tweets.”

There are of course alternatives for tracking elections if you need your political fix. Electionista from Tweetminster tracks elections around the world and should provide some insight for those who like to follow the crowd opinion.

It’s still uncertain if elections can be predicted using social media sentiment or tracking of any sort, but you can be sure that with so many people using the short form messaging platform that it will be a place to find out the gossip, news and rumours as the political machine switches up gears and Americans get their vote on.

Image Credit: Cristian_RH7