Today's Iowa Caucus marks the first primary event in the United States. Bing's Elections experience, however, has been working to provide a simple yet powerful view of the candidates and issues through the Bing Political Index (BPI).
In similar fashion to how Bing Predicts technology was used to evaluate the public's reaction to the third GOP debate back in December, the technology was recently used to evaluate the responses on the web from the sixth GOP debate which was seen on the Fox Business Network. The technology essentially provided an aggregated, anonymous, and unbiased view of the web and social responses to the debate which ran from 9-11pm Eastern Time on Thursday, January 28.
The BPI analyzed the attention on social media and created a visualization of the topics. It's findings indicate that the hottest topic, with 28.4% of postings on social media, was homeland security. Immigration reform came in second (20.2%), followed by Middle East issues, health care and foreign policy.
As reported in the media, Donald Trump was absent from this debate. To no surprise, the BPI measured the public attention each candidate received during the debate using the number of mentions of him or her on social media. Results show that Ted Cruz garnered the most attention on social media because of the absence with a 27.2% share, similar to his share in the previous debate on January 14. Marco Rubio, however, benefited the most from Trump’s no show, increasing his share to 24.9%.
The BPI also found that Trump’s absence seems to have made the debate more balanced. A minute-by-minute breakdown showed no single candidate has dominated the discussion for long periods of time. Despite his absence, Trump, nonetheless, was still active on social media throughout the debate. Comparing social media attention to candidates between the sixth and seventh debates, The BPI found that most candidates lost overall social media attention, with Marco Rubio being the exception.
You can look into the candidates, this data, and social trends by visiting www.bing.com/elections.