There’s no doubt that Twitter has become an integral part of the political world, and there is no time that is more obvious than during elections. It’s no surprise then, that Twitter is constantly providing interesting and useful tools that enhance the social network as a political tool. Launching its latest offering, Twitter is giving its users the Twitter Political Index. The tool gives users a daily measurement of sentiment toward the two US presidential candidates – Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
As the US is gearing up for presidential elections, both President Barack Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney are putting all the technology at their disposal to good use. Mitt Romney plans on announcing his running mate through the app, Mitt’s VP, while the Obama campaign has released an app that will let you know how the president’s policies will affect you based on your GPS location.
With this year’s elections already labeled the Twitter election, Twitter is going all out, together with Topsy to bring the Political Index to a worldwide audience.
This is what Twitter had to say about the tool:
Each day, the Index evaluates and weighs the sentiment of Tweets mentioning Obama or Romney relative to the more than 400 million Tweets sent on all other topics. For example, a score of 73 for a candidate indicates that Tweets containing their name or account name are on average more positive than 73 percent of all Tweets.
Just as new technologies like radar and satellite joined the thermometer and barometer to give forecasters a more complete picture of the weather, so too can the Index join traditional methods like surveys and focus groups to tell a fuller story of political forecasts. It lends new insight into the feelings of the electorate, but is not intended to replace traditional polling — rather, it reinforces it.
The index will be updated on a daily basis at 8pm EST, reflecting all of the tweets and comments made about Obama and Romney on that day, accompanied by a chart that shows how Twitter sentiment has changed over time.