Gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard speaks to a more traditional crowd at Jorgio's in Wheaton
While the traditional indices of poll numbers, endorsements, and fundraising totals continue to be barometers of candidate viability and momentum, contemporary politics requires a new measurement -- social media use and engagement.
One of the social media vehicles Illinois politicos should watch is Facebook. As of the printing of this article, the number of Facebook "likes" each candidate has is as follows:
- Bruce Rauner: 24,219
- Bill Brady: 17,946
- Dan Rutherford: 15,258
- Kirk Dillard: 15,254
- Pat Quinn: 12,914
Interestingly, recent statistics show that Dillard's Facebook page has been picking up "likes" or fans at a fairly fast clip; putting it on pace to soon surpass Rutherford and Brady. What makes this noteworthy is the fact that both Brady and Rutherford have had their Facebook pages up for at least four years, while Dillard's was created this past June.
However, a more relevant metric is the amount of "real [Facebook] fans", which is measured by taking the "talking about" number and dividing it by the total fan count. This provides the percentage of people actually engaged with the page. Right now those numbers stand at:
- Dillard: 16%
- Rauner: 13.2%
- Brady: 5.8%
- Rutherford: 5.3%
- Pat Quinn: 3.6%
Illinois Review will be keeping an eye on the social media engagement of the gubernatorial candidates and will provide updated info as it becomes available.