Between Wikileaks, Access Hollywood and most recently, the emerging FBI investigations, the 2016 election has been full of surprises.
2016's electorate seems polarized to an historically unprecedented degree. But you might remember a little U.S. Presidential election in 2008, featuring Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin? Hope? Change? "I can see Russia from my house"? Sound familiar?
In 2008, Graphika (then operating as Morningside Analytics) created a "Political Video Barometer" that measured how the most viral YouTube videos circulated through the blogosphere. It measured videos on a dimension of political "valence" - based on the proportion of citations from Liberal vs. Conservative blogs.
Today, we're reviving this awesome widget, as Graphika's Political Media Barometer, to track the movement of images and videos within the "political space" before and after November 8's Election Day.
The Barometer's "X" axis sets up our political landscape from "very liberal" on the farthest left to "very conservative" on the farthest right. The middle represents the middle ground of media cited by both sides and non-partisans.
The "Y" axis measures how many views/shares/retweets a political media piece has received. The higher on the Y axis the media moves, the more prominent it is throughout the blogosphere.
Looking at the Political Barometer, you'll notice that the extreme left and right are far more populated than the center, creating what Graphika CEO and Founder John Kelly calls the "Electoral Bull Horns". Just as in 2008, as we approach Election Day, the "horns" of the barometer reach higher and higher as the partisan rhetoric gets sharper and more extreme. The most conservative elements on the web are sharing media concerning "rigging the election" and teasing out the juiciest Wikileaks. While the most liberal ends of the internet are already starting their victory lap, relishing the fracturing within the Republican ranks as exhibited by Megyn Kelly's interview with Newt Gingrich and wishing "this future president" a Happy Birthday!
The middle of the Graphika Political Barometer seems fairly sparse at the moment; at this point in America the most common ground we can find is celebrating the Chicago Cubs National League victory.
The Political Barometer updates continuously throughout the day and will do so in the coming days leading up to the Presidential Election as well as after.
Click through to Graphika's 2016 Poltical Media Barometer (Beta) to see the most circulated content on the web today and every day leading up to the election. Which partisan media is gaining the most traction? Are there any videos or images crossing over from partisan extremes and entering the "middle" of the conversation?
THEN, check back AFTER the election to see if America can "refill the center" and find their common ground again. Or are we destined to remain a nation of "Bull Horns"?