November 2nd, 2010

Kitzhaber vs Dudley: The Oregon governor race and the tale of the social media tape

Kitzhaber vs Dudley: The Oregon governor race and the tale of the social media tape

It’s getting down to the wire on the Oregon gubernatorial race. And, at this point, the winner is anybody’s guess. Will Democrat John Kitzhaber, former Oregon governor, retake the office? Or will former Portland Trail Blazers center Republican Chris Dudley land a new position?

When this whole political thing started, I took a quick look at the candidates for Oregon governor in terms of their Web presence. Now seemed an appropriate time to assess the two candidates and their social media standing—to see if it gives us any indication of who might be Oregon’s next governor.


I chose Facebook for two reasons. First, it’s clearly the most widely adopted social network with the widest variety of users. It’s not just the tech savvy folks hanging out here—by any stretch of the imagination. Second, Facebook users have to press a “Like” button. Now, Psych 101 or not, saying you like someone or something is a little different than just following.

So in the Facebook poll, how do we stand?

Currently Kitzhaber has 20,882 likes to Dudley’s 17,664 likes.

Winner: Kitzhaber


Now, while Twitter isn’t the geeky refuge it used to be, it still tends to be a more tech inclined crowd that wanders around those parts. And, the again with the Psych 101, following someone has a different feel than liking someone.

So how’s the Twitter following going? Fairly bleak, actually.

Currently (you can mouseover the Twitter names for the latest numbers) @kitz2010 has 1803 followers while @dudley2010 has 1364.

Winner: Kitzhaber

Web traffic

And finally the most nebulous metric: Web traffic. Does increased Web traffic mean you’re more popular? Or does it mean more people are confused with your platform and politics? It’s hard to say. But it’s a metric.

And since neither candidate is publishing RSS subscriber numbers—which might be a more clear indication of leanings—we’re just going to go with best guess. Here’s what—appropriately enough—Compete has to say about Kitzhaber vs Dudley.

Currently, Dudley is showing 18,456 visitors in September to Kitzhaber‘s 10,812 visitors.

Winner: Dudley


So what’s that tell us? Yeah, I know. Not much. But I did the research so I thought I would share it. Unweighted, Kitzhaber is leading Dudley in two out of three metrics. In a weighted average, it looks like Kitzhaber has a slight lead. But there’s no clear winner.


I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Kitzhaber won the election and has made a commitment to remain engaged with social media. Or at least Facebook.

(Image courtesy functoruser. Used under Creative Commons.)

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4 Responses to “Kitzhaber vs Dudley: The Oregon governor race and the tale of the social media tape”

  1. Interesting post, Rick. I think the lack of conversation with voters is a key reason people are so disillusioned with politics. I’ve written about this on my blog, The Radical Ear:

  2. [...] kids. The elections are over. We have a new governor for Oregon. And what was one of the primary campaign promises? That’s right. Putting Oregon back to [...]

  3. [...] the follow-on to this post, I will give the new governor of Oregon (who happens to be a physician) a prescription for what he can do to help. The fact is that our state leaders can make a tremendous [...]

  4. [...] Kitzhaber vs Dudley: The Oregon governor race and the tale of the social media tape [...]

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