A campaign implosion captured by our social media research

The 2012 U.S. Senate contest in Indiana has been a toss up since the contentious May primary where Richard Mourdock ousted incumbent Senator Richard Lugar.

The second and final Indiana U.S. Senate debate on October 23rd between Republican Richard Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly was proceeding predictably with both candidates arguing that the other was too extreme to represent Indiana’s common sense views.  A late question on abortion turned into a firestorm after Richard Mourdock explained his opposition to abortion even in cases of rape:

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Our October 23 – October 25 report captures the comment’s reverberation on social media, the continued escalation, and the coverage in traditional news media.  It’s a fascinating look at how stories explode first and viscerally on social media while news coverage follows.

We have been tracking the Indiana U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races as part of our social media research project, the Bellwether Barometer.  This social media research project complements the traditional polling we do in the state.
Take a look – it is fascinating:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzYWYWbqPbrFeU14RHdtbHh5Ukk/edit

 

 

 

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