By Angela Hart
The 2016 Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley are all due to take the debate stage this evening for the latest Democratic debate. Their social media platforms are very important to reference during the campaign season since citizens access their numerous platforms for information on a variety of topics such as political issues, stances on subjects, and personal information. The numbers listed below are accurate as of December 19, 2015.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are not just leading against Martin O'Malley in the polls, but also outperforming him on social media. The only platform that O'Malley has superior numbers for is Google Plus, which is not the most regularly used online outlet. His Goole Plus page received 1,414,265 visits, while Sanders only had 78,834 page visits. Surprisingly, Clinton's Google Plus page received the fewest visits with 971 page views; the lack of numbers may be due to Clinton's page being relatively new or the fact that people are accessing her other online platforms.
Unfortunately for O'Malley, most people reference Twitter and Facebook as the main social media accounts for users. On Twitter, O'Malley has 115,000 followers, which is minimal compared to Hillary Clinton's 4,920,000 followers. O'Malley has approximately 2.33% the amount of Twitter followers that Clinton has. Sanders has about half the amount of Clinton Twitter followers at 2,410,000. O'Malley has approximately 4.77% the amount of Twitter followers that Sanders has, limiting O'Malley's influence online. With such a drastic difference in audience sizes, O'Malley's political stances and messages may not be reaching a wider public.
Similarly, on Facebook, Sanders has the most amount of "likes," while O'Malley has the least; Sanders has 2,189,074, Clinton has 2,012,301, and O'Malley has 101,225 likes. Additionally, on Instagram, Clinton has the most amount of followers, while O'Malley has the least; Clinton has 580,000, Sanders has 482,000, and O'Malley has 8,540 followers. O'Malley's small online presence may be contributing to his low poll numbers. If he can reach more citizens online, then maybe his poll numbers will increase in the future. Until that time, it appears that Hillary Clinton is reaching the most amount of people via social media outlets.