Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Romney 2012: "Corporations are People" Beating "If You Want Higher Taxes, Vote Obama" Online

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 12 2011

Last night, about 90 minutes before the start of the Republican presidential candidates debate in Iowa, the Mitt Romney campaign sent out an email to its list entitled, "Mitt's Iowa Moment." The email had three purposes: 1) to fundraise (duh); 2) to highlight Romney's unscripted response to some hecklers at the Iowa State Fair that showcased his opposition to raising taxes (and deflect attention away from his other unscripted statement that "corporations are people, my friends," and 3) to get people to share the video with others.

How did they do? Well, it turns out that it's pretty easy to compare the Romney campaign's pro-active message push with the organic interest that surfaced online around his "corporations are people" statement. And the news for the Romney campaign isn't great.

First, take a look at how usage of the hashtag #mitt2012, which was promoted by Romney's email, compares to the appearance of the phrase "corporations are people" on Twitter in the last 24 hours:

That's from Topsy. Not very good. The campaign's custom bit.ly account link (http://mi.tt/niPD1f) shows only 20 clicks to the video.

Then look at how the Romney campaign's promotion of his "If you want higher taxes, vote for Barack Obama" YouTube video compares to his "corporations are people" statement. The campaign's video, which was prominently linked to in yesterday's email, has garnered about 3,600 views so far (of a ten-second clip). Videos about his "corporations are people" statement, by contrast, have earned tens of thousands of views and appear on multiple accounts, including the one below from Slate's David Wiegel, which had more than 21,000 alone.

Over on Facebook, the Romney campaign's sharing of his anti-taxes pledge at the Iowa State Fair has garnered 14,500 likes. That's very good, much higher than the average number of likes his posts get on his Facebook page, which has more than one million fans.

But out in the wild of other people's personal pages, where Facebookers are talking with each other organically, there's another bad sign for Romney: the phrase "corporations are people" is getting , with specific reference to Romney. There's also some chatter on Facebook on the phrase "if you want higher taxes," with reference to Obama, but not nearly as much. Facebook updates on the first phrase are appearing more than once a minute, while the latter is about once every 20-30 minutes.

All told, the Romney campaign may feel that its email generated a good response. But it also appears that the "corporations are people" statement is going to stick to Romney's image, too, in ways that may not help his chances.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Creeping

Senator Al Franken's tough questions for Uber's CEO; how the NSA could make its phone metadata program permanent; global privacy groups launch a personal spyware catcher called Detekt; and much, much more. GO

Recreation.gov and other Govt Projects Move Toward Embracing New Digital Approach

A draft request for proposals for the revamping of Recreation.gov will include a requirement that reservation availability data be publicly accessible and that all proposals detail how they will enable third-party sales, as two members of the United States Digital Services have joined the government team overseeing the RFP, meeting some key demands of civic technologists and consumer oriented technology companies. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Ubermenschens

Surge-pricing in effect for Uber privacy violations; why "privacy" policies should be called "data usage" policies; pols silent on Uber mess; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Uber Falles

Uber exposed for plan to dig up dirt on journalist critics; sneaking a SOPA provision into the USA Freedom Act; high-speed free WiFi coming to NYC; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Differences

How to use Twitter to circumvent campaign coordination rules; the net neutrality debate keeps getting hotter; charting the gender balance at dataviz conference using dataviz; and much, much more. GO

More