Ryan knocks Obama off perch as most talked about on Facebook

Story highlights

  • Since being announced as Romney's running mate, Ryan has dominated social media
  • Ryan's relative anonymity before being picked helped him jump up the scale
  • Ryan's Facebook fans skew more toward males and older

A seven-term Wisconsin congressman, who 54% of the American people were not aware of last week, just knocked the president of the United States off of his perch as the most talked-about politician on the largest social media platform in the world.

According to the exclusive Facebook-CNN Election Talk Meter, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, in the first 54 hours after being announced as Mitt Romney's vice-presidential running mate, sucked up the political oxygen in the social media landscape -- with the Beltway topping the buzz and his home state of Wisconsin close behind.

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    Ryan most talked about on Facebook

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What caught our eye? The swing states of Virginia (where Ryan was announced) and New Hampshire were also high on the list:

Facebook-CNN talk meter scores

1. Rep. Paul Ryan 5.21

2. President Barack Obama 4.84

3. Vice President Joe Biden 4.01

    4. Gov. Mitt Romney 3.74

    For perspective, when Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in history on July 31, he registered a 6.51 on the same 1-10 scale.

    Top 10 states + D.C. buzzing about Ryan

    CNN's Michelle Jaconi and Mark Preston

    1. Washington, D.C.

    2. Wisconsin

    3. Virginia

    4. New Hampshire

    5. Maryland

    6. Minnesota

    7. Massachusetts

    8. Utah

    9. Vermont

    10. North Carolina

    Note: The talk meter calculates a jump in buzz, so Ryan's relative anonymity helped him jump up the talk meter scale. Yet the growth wasn't just in buzz, but also in "likes" -- the Facebook term for social approval which enables people to follow your moves closely and voice their support to their social networks.

    Ryan's new fan page has grown from zero to more than half a million fans, already topping that of the sitting vice president, Joe Biden.

    Facebook fan growth at publication time

    Barack Obama

    • 27.8 million fans currently

    • Since August 1: Added 150,000 fans (+0.5%)

    • Since Saturday: Added 9,900 fans (+0.03%)

    Joe Biden

    • 355,000 fans currently

    • Since August 1: Added 4,200 fans (+1.2%)

    • Since Saturday: Added 728 fans (+0.2%)

    Mitt Romney

    • 4.1 million fans currently

    • Since August 1: Added 906,600 fans (+28.3%)

    • Since Saturday: Added 111,400 fans (+2.8%)

    Paul Ryan

    • 501,000 fans currently

    • Since August: Fan page didn't exist

    • On Saturday: Added 222,100 fans

    • Since Saturday: Added 237,900 fans (+107.1%)

    Fans by state

    Barack Obama

    1. California

    2. New York

    3. Texas

    4. Florida

    5. Illinois

    Joe Biden

    1. California

    2. New York

    3. Florida

    4. Texas

    5. Illinois

    Mitt Romney

    1. Texas

    2. California

    3. Florida

    4. Georgia

    5. Ohio

    Paul Ryan

    1. Texas

    2. Florida

    3. California

    4. North Carolina

    5. Wisconsin

    We often say we write about demographics, not politics. Thus it comes as no surprise that we are once again writing about the gender gap and the age gap in this election -- something that the insights from Facebook reveal also exist online.

    Gender and age breakdown of Facebook fans

    Barack Obama

    Average age: 28

    Male: 51%

    Female: 49%

    Joe Biden

    Average age: 35

    Male: 51%

    Female: 49%

    Mitt Romney

    Average age: 46

    Male: 50%

    Female: 50%

    Paul Ryan VP

    Average age: 43

    Male: 63%

    Female: 37%

    How this translates to the election will be something we keep our eye on from now until November. It's staggering when you put it in historical perspective: Today there are 160 million monthly active users on Facebook in the United States -- more than half the U.S. population. In 2008, there were 35 million monthly active users.

        Election 2012

      • CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06:  U.S. President Barack Obama stands on stage with first lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden after his victory speech on election night at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

        A black man is returning to the White House. Four years ago, it was a first, the breaking of a racial barrier. Tuesday night, it was history redux. And more.
      • CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 06:  U.S. President Barack Obama stands on stage after his victory speech at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

        The 2012 presidential election shattered spending records, further polarized a divided country and launched a thousand hashtags.
      • Even though voters indicated to pollsters that their financial situation is the same or worse than it was four years ago, they put their trust in the president.
      • US President Barack Obama addresses a crowd of supporters on stage on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. President Barack Obama swept to re-election Tuesday, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

        The president faces a long and familiar set of challenges after riding a wave of support from moderates, women and minorities to victory.
      • Republicans kept a lock on the U.S. House of Representatives, a crucial victory after the party failed to wrest away the presidency from Barack Obama and the Senate from the Democrats.