The SDPB Meet the Candidates videos introduce us to 105 of the 141 South Dakotans contending for seats in the State Legislature this year. Some of those candidates get more views than others. I wonder: which candidates are beating their direct opponents in using their Web savvy (or just plain Google luck) to get attention online?
First, let's compare the Senate races. Red bars show Republicans getting more views than their opponents; blue bars show Democrats winning. I've left unhighlighted those races where one of the candidates failed to tape a spot for SDPB.
Meanwhile, on the House side, where three or four candidates may contend for two seats, it gets trickier to color an entire district just one color. I'll mark the top two in each district with their party color:
In races with at least three videos available, 18 Republicans take one of the top two spots, while only 13 Democrats rank similarly (I'm counting technically Independent Mike Reardon among us blue folk, as a win for him would be a win for Dems in unseating a Republican.) Note that one of those Republicans toppers, Gene Kroger, got nearly half of his views thanks to Madville Times coverage of hisÂ remarkable sloganeering and mnemonics. (You're welcome, neighbor!)
For a really broad overview, consider the total views on SDPB for candidates of each party who made videos for SDPB:
Some candidates are clearly more diligent than others in promoting their online videos. But per candidate, on average, Republicans draw 8% more interest in their SDPB videos than Democrats do. Independents have some catching up to do: those without the party label draw 40% less interest than their partisan counterparts.
One more measurement: 20 out of 71 Republicans, 28%, skipped out on shooting videos for SDPB. 15 out of 66 Dems, 23%, passed on SDPB's offer of free publicity (well, free if you don't count the cost of gas to get to the Vermillion studio).