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Social Stats: Paul Ryan vs. Joe Biden

by Jane Susskind, published

Since Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate, the media has been in a frenzy, digging up his voting records, speculating on his role in the campaign, and even reporting on his fashion faux paus.

Politicos have been buzzing about his political prospects, but it's his meteoric rise in the social media ranks that's surprised most Americans. Could Paul Ryan be Romney's secret weapon in the social media battle? IVN reported on the social media clout Ryan brings to the Romney campaign earlier this week.

Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan is somewhat of a social media mogul. Romney’s inclusion of the Wisconsin representative may be the boost he needs to motivate his somewhat stagnant online following.

But how does he compare with his Vice Presidential opponent, Joe Biden? We've analyzed both Paul Ryan and Joe Biden's social activity and success in three categories online: Facebook, Twitter, and Online Fundraising. Our conclusion: Paul Ryan takes home the gold, earning the title of social media star.

Facebook Fans:

CNN partnered with Facebook to study the popularity of political candidates on the world's largest social network. The findings show that Paul Ryan, who entered the political spotlight just last week, now surpasses President Obama as the most-talked about politician on Facebook.

Paul Ryan social media standings, CNN and Facebook

With 713,342 likes, Rep. Paul Ryan's VP page now has over twice as many as Joe Biden's Facebook, and that number is sure to rise. Ryan's page was created less than a week ago, while Biden's has been in existence for almost four years now. A closer look into the demographics of his page likes reveals that contrary to popular belief, Paul Ryan's fans are not primarily female. Thirty-seven percent of the page's new likes are female, outnumbered by the 63 percent that are men, according to Red Alert Politics.

Tracking Twitter:

While Paul Ryan isn't new to the 140-character limit of Twitter, he has created a new Twitter account strictly for his VP prospects, @PaulRyanVP. In three short days, he's already climbed the Twitter ranks, beating out current VP Joe Biden to acquire 113,993 followers to date. Joe Biden, using the official Office of the Vice President Twitter account, @VP, has 79,502 followers. His campaign Twitter account, ran by the Obama 2012 campaign staff, nears Ryan's number, but still trails with 109,164 followers.

Fundraising Feud: 

Taking full advantage of the hype surrounding Romney's VP pick, the Romney campaign leveraged Paul Ryan to fundraise a recorded $7.4 million, in just 72 hours since the announcement. The Hill reports,

Mitt Romney's campaign announced Tuesday that it had raised $7.4 million online in the three days since announcing Paul Ryan as the vice presidential pick, via more than 100,000 donations.

Catching on, Vice President Joe Biden targeted his supporters via email. In a plea for campaign cash, he warned: “we risk letting the other side run away with” the presidency, fearing "a pretty lopsided fight."

Also, make sure to check out IVN's coverage on the Libertarian Party's Vice Presidential candidate, Judge Jim Gray. As Wes reports, the Libertarian presidential ticket for 2012 is expected to be on the ballot in all fifty states. The Libertarian Party has met one of two requirements in place to share the presidential debate stage with the Democratic and Republican candidates, and are working hard at reaching 15% support in the national polls. Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has already impressed us with his social media prowess, but take a look at Judge Jim Gray's presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Which Vice Presidential candidate is #winning? Will it have an impact on Election Day? Share your thoughts on the VP picks, their social media stats, and the impact of social media on this year's election below.

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