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Facebook fan numbers accurately predict election results

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It's news that should be kind of obvious but still somehow feels surprising: according to Facebook's "political team," candidates who had more fans on the social networking site than their opponents won their actual elections overall. (So not only did they lose, but they also are super unpopular and probably won't even be asked to the spring formal.) Here are the numbers:

The Facebook political team's initial snapshot of 98 House races shows that 74% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests. In the Senate, our initial snapshot of 19 races shows that 81% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests.

As I said, this really shouldn't be shocking — candidates who have more people who like them get more people to vote for them?! — but I think we often consider becoming a fan of someone on Facebook to be something of an empty, half-hearted political gesture. Not to mention that it's notoriously difficult to get younger people to vote and Facebook has a whole lot of them.

But now that Facebook has become so prominent, and so much more than the easiest way to stalk a cute guy from your Biology class, I guess it's time to reconsider.