According to the social media analysis firm VoterTide, around 52,000 messages about Obama were posted to Twitter Friday, a 74% jump over his daily average of about 30,000 and the highest number of mentions since he announced his support for gay marriage May 9. The firm did not offer an estimate of how many of these tweets were positive or negative.
"We saw a spike in the President's social media interactions following Friday's announcement," said VoterTide senior advisor Leah Frelinghuysen. "According to our data, the President continues to gain Twitter followers and Facebook fans in a significant way when taking action on a policy issue."
But the immigration conversation also appears to have boosted Romney in the social sphere. VoterTide found that the Republican presidential candidate added 12,776 fans on Facebook Saturday and 7,220 on Friday, both far outstripping his daily average of about 5,900 new fans.
VoterTide's data also suggest a deep partisan divide in the on-line discussion of immigration. According to the firm's analysis, the three most shared immigration-related news stories on Facebook about the immigration announcement were a post describing the announcement from the liberal organization Think Progress (25,480 Facebook Shares); a story about the decision from Univision, the Spanish language network (7,987) shares; and a link from the conservative website The Blaze – founded by former Fox News broadcaster Glenn Beck – to old video of Obama saying there were legal hurdles preventing him from issuing an executive order to suspend deportations (7,704 shares).