The Washington Post reports that mentions on Twitter can predict election outcomes:
That’s the takeaway at the core of a newly-released study conducted by four researchers at Indiana University. The paper stands in stark contrast to other research assessing the usefulness of tweets in assessing public opinion, as well as a number of high-profile whiffs from the Twittersphere.
... they found a connection between the number of tweets that included a candidate’s name — relative to how many tweets that candidate’s opponent received — and how the candidate performed on Election Day, as the following chart from the study illustrates. The candidate with the higher percentage of tweets about them overwhelmingly tended to do better [Sean Sullivan, "How Twitter Could Predict Elections — in One Eye-Catching Study" Washington Post: The Fix, 2013.08.14].
Now hold your keyboards, partisans. This research finding from Indiana University works like psychohistory in Asimov's Foundation series: if the subjects know about the math, the math doesn't work. Show Chad Haber this study, and he'll have his non-profit interns retweeting fake articles and Annette Bosworth's dog videos, Che shirts, and Custard jokes all day long. And Bosworth still won't crack single digits, if she even makes it onto the ballot.