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Interior races told through Facebook "Likes"

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Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2012 5:35 pm | Updated: 2:03 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

—Posted by Matt Buxton, staff writer

There’s no easy way to tell who’s ahead in the pivotal races around the Interior, but Facebook lends a bit of insight to where each candidate stands, at least when it comes to how effective they are at getting the all-important “Likes.”

The candidates for Senate Seat B, which covers the city of Fairbanks and has been the target of plenty of outside spending, share similarly sized fan bases, but one is much more active.

The page of Sen. Joe Paskvan, D-Fairbanks, has 245 “Likes,” about 40 shy of his opponent, but has a whopping 446 people talking about his page.

The “talking about this” metric is a measure of the number of new likes, posts, comments, mentions and other general interactions with the page.

Paskvan’s opponent, Pete Kelly, has 281 “Likes,” but just 120 people are talking about his page, which is down from mid October.

According to Facebook, Paskvan is most popular with people between 25 and 34. Kelly is most popular among people ages 45 to 54.

The race for Senate District A is much more close.

Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, clocked in with the most likes at 1,146 likes. Coghill has 414 people talking about his page and is most popular among people from 45 to 54.

Sen. Joe Thomas, D-Fairbanks, came in with 889 likes and had 446 people talking about his page, just a few more than Coghill. Thomas was most popular among people 55 to 64.

We won’t know how much of predictor Facebook is of voting until on Tuesday night.

However, it correctly helped predict a Click Bishop win in the Republican primary elections. Bishop had outpaced both his opponents both in terms of “Likes” and page activity. The Facebook lead helped, but not by enough, for Republican candidate Aaron Lojewski, who came in a closer-than-expected second place in the race against Pete Higgins for the ticket for House District 5.

Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544 or follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.

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