Twitter's #Election2014 Data Dashboard Shows What State Is Talking About Before (and During) the Midterm Elections

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 02: A voter places her ballot into a ballot box after voting for the midterm elections at Los Angeles County Lifeguard headquarters on November 2, 2010 in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Former eBay CEO and Republican candidate Meg Whitman is running against California Attorney General and Democratic candidate Jerry Brown for the Governor's seat while U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is in a tight race against Republican senatorial candidate and former head of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images

With the midterm elections less than a week away, discussions are reaching fever pitch, and nowhere is that more evident than on Twitter. That's why the social platform created its #election2014 Twitter data dashboard to encourage users to join in on the real-time conversation and stay on top of every development leading up to the elections. Besides the average user, news sites also benefit greatly from the #election2014 data dashboard, which provides a comprehensive package of visuals surrounding the midterm elections. But perhaps the best feature of the dashboard is its interactive map that allows you to see specific data for each state, like what issues its inhabitants are talking about the most and which local candidates to follow.

According to Twitter's Government and Elections team (@gov), the dashboard is a "one-stop shop for insights around this election season" using data culled from a list of relevant hashtags, Twitter handles, and election-related keywords. The dashboard is updated daily at 1 a.m., so the conversation always stays fresh and current. So what can you do with all this political chatter? The @gov team outlines the dashboard's main usages as follows:

  • To measure political conversation levels and examine demographic profiles
  • To list the top issues of each day and state
  • To provide a constant stream of tweets about races in each state
  • To highlight accounts related to the candidates for governor and Senate
We took a look at five specific states to see who's part of the local conversation and what issues they're talking about, and we're showing you their most interesting tweets, natch.

New York

As of press time on Wednesday, there were 68,980 political tweets that came out of New York state. Of those tweets, 67 percent were from male Twitter users and 32 percent were from female users. The dominant age group of those tweeters were between 35 and 54 (37 percent), while only 8 percent were teens between 13 and 17. 

As for the top issues being discussed in New York, President Obama comes in first, followed by terrorism (including ISIS), Ebola, law enforcement, and immigration/border security.

Some prominent politicians and candidates to follow? Governor Andrew Cuomo, GOP challenger Rob Astorino, and Rep. Pete King

Here's a sample of relevant tweets:

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/StatenIsleNews/statuses/527500825623818240]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/WFUVNews/statuses/527501048349736960]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/MikeMorey/statuses/527501175894331392]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/ArthurA_P/statuses/527501331666599936]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/C_Perspective_/statuses/527501841396142080]

California

What's happening on the West Coast? As of press time, Californians had tweeted 105,467 times about politics. The gender and age stats are almost identical to New York's, except more teens in California are involved in the discussion (12 percent). 

The top issues in California are President Obama and terrorism, but then law enforcement comes in third, followed by Ebola and immigration/border security. 

If you want to follow some local candidates, there's the incumbent, Jerry Brown, Republican nominee Neel Kashkari, and Rep. Tom McClintock.

Here's what people are saying specifically:

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/dinanovember/statuses/527501934526074880]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/kevincortopassi/statuses/527503610683596800]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/cmarinucci/statuses/527503520082051072]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/ggeett37aaa/statuses/527502988449808384]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/RINObuster/statuses/527500662834487296]

Maryland

Population size is clearly a factor, since there were only 19,494 political tweets that came out of Maryland as of press time. The gender divide is similar to New York and California, but it looks like Maryland teens have less interest in politics, since only six percent of them have joined in the conversation. Perhaps it's many of their parents work in D.C. and it's the last thing they want to talk about in their free time? (Totally speculating there.)

As for the top issues, the ranking goes: President Obama, terrorism, law enforcement, Ebola, and health care.

Some people to follow include Governor Martin O'Malley, libertarian nominee Shawn Quinn, and GOP nominee Larry Hogan

Here's what people in Maryland are talking about, as told by tweets:

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/jacquelinelpear/statuses/527509032521961474]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/JDennisWolfe/statuses/527509527105527808]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/joehick58/statuses/527508825180745728]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/Call_Me_Dutch/statuses/527504541051535360]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/CherylKagan/statuses/527500642747961344]


Pennsylvania

Pennsylvanians posted 33,592 political tweets as of press time. There seems to be a common theme forming that most political tweets come from male users and people between the ages of 35 and 54. That goes for top issues as well, with President Obama topping Pennsylvania's list as well. However, residents in the keystone state care less about law enforcement and immigration and more about health care and gun issues, which came in third and fifth, respectively.

Some prominent people to follow include Governor Tom Corbett, Rep. Mike Kelley, and Democratic nominee Tom Wolf.

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/helenmag/statuses/527507588963770368]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/PAFreshStart/statuses/527504108056764416]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/TaxesNewsdaily/statuses/527498498439004161]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/P4HR/statuses/527497393764564993]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/Rosebud1668/statuses/527495425066938368]

Texas


Down in the Lone Star State, the conversation is strong with 80,298 tweets as of press time. The demographic statistics look a lot like the other states, except that Texas teens might be a little more interested in politics, accounting for 13 percent of the Twitter users. 

Not surprisingly, immigration and border security is ranked relatively high on the top issues, right behind President Obama (again) and terrorism. Ebola and law enforcement round out the list.

As for local candidates and politicians, you can follow Senator John Cornyn, Senator and candidate for governor Wendy Davis, and Senate nominee David Alameel.

And here's what Texans are saying:

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/emmeffemm/statuses/527512134507577344]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/jennybuttons/statuses/527511192160309248]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/Faztlan/statuses/527515017575284736]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/eventestes/statuses/527515020456783872]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/DMNOpinion/statuses/527510268260409345]

Images: Getty Images (5)

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