Twitter creates "Political Index" scores

Twitter is now ranking the pulse of the country in a numerical Obama-v-Romney scale.

The site has introduced a new feature that claims to evaluate user views and reactions to the two major candidates for November’s presidential election. The “Twitter Political Index” (or “Twindex” as it’s being referred to) looks at both the volume of tweets that each candidate is receiving, as well as the emotions expressed in those tweets.

That may seem like a difficult thing to quantify, and of course Twitter isn’t exactly being transparent on how the algorithms work, but whatever it is, it’s finding Obama as being the winner.

The incumbent candidate has a Twitter Political Index score of 34, whatever that means. All that really matters is that it’s 9 points higher than Mitt Romney’s score.

Twitter tried to explain the relevance of the score in its blog, saying, “Each day, the Twindex 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.”

Twitter has of course proven its importance in the world of politics in a huge way since the last presidential election all the way back in 2008.

It’s funny to think that back then, everyone was referring to the election as being dominated by social media and user interaction, but the level of influence those social channels had back then is highly limited compared to today.