BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — For the first time in decades, New York is key to the presidential primary.
That’s evidenced by four out of the five presidential candidates hosting rallies, business round tables and town halls in Buffalo — and John Kasich stumping to WNY when he made a stop in Rochester a few weeks back.
That’s meant more people are engaged and interested in this process to the levels not seen since the Obama-Clinton run-off in 2008. They come to candidates’ events, they talk politics over dinner or a cup of coffee and, of course, they talk online.
News 4 has obtained exclusive information from Facebook analysis that shows just how much New Yorkers are talking about politics and who they’re talking about.
During the past month, as candidates have turned their focus to the Empire State, about 1.2 million people took to the social media site to talk about Hillary Clinton nearly 9 million times.
That’s similar to people talking about Bernie Sanders: about 1.8 million mentioned Sanders about 8.7 million times.
These comments or mentions can be positive or negative.
On the Republican side, the numbers are vastly different.
During the past month, less than 800,000 people took to Facebook to talk about Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, combined, fewer than 3.3 million times.
Compare that to frontrunner Donald Trump. Nearly 2 million people have turned to Facebook during the past month, and mentioned Trump almost 15 million times.
It’s just one of the indicators of why his rallies across New York state have been so well attended, including his latest stop in Buffalo, when more than 11,400 came to hear him speak at the First Niagara Center.
The analysis also shows topics important to New Yorkers, including racism and discrimination, Israel and Palestine, Wall Street and financial regulations, wages and Iraq in that order.
The data is reflective of the political conversation, but is not intended to be predictive of the outcome, Facebook says.