The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Dartmouth Alum-Run Company,, Shares Data Analysis of Republican Presidential Candidates #econdebate

Article Type 

The #EconDebate has come and gone, but the importance of election and the impressions that we share with others via social media continues.  In this post, we'd like to highlight the work of Dartmouth alum Rob Leathern (classmate of Rockefeller Center Assistant Director Danielle Thompson '97) and his company,  Their blog included a recent post that has been summarized below, with a note from founder and CEO Rob Leathern '97.

If you are a Dartmouth alum and would like to share your public policy-related news or work with the Rockefeller Center audience, we encourage you to submit your ideas directly to Danielle for consideration.

Original Post @
"Investigating the Republican Presidential Pool of Candidates through Social Data"

With the Republican primary election campaign getting into full swing, the data team decided to mine our proprietary social media graph, in order to shed light on the race’s themes and personalities; and perhaps even to steer us toward a prediction of who might take on President Obama in next year’s general election...
...The interest graph is dominated by a dense, central cluster of Republican politicians (‘mike huckabee’, ‘tim pawlenty’), media personalities (‘bill o’reilly’, ‘sean hannity’), and Republican boosters (‘federalist society’, ‘positively republican’, ‘tea party patriots’). Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are all solidly in this cluster, expressing the sort of ‘race-to-the-base’ into which presidential primary contests tend to evolve...

...To the extent the primary election becomes about policy instead of personality, it appears that Perry may have an edge...Perry is also the only candidate who shows a strong affinity with Ronald Reagan. If the tone of the primary moves away from policy and becomes an exercise in occupying and mobilizing the cult of Reagan; well, Perry may have that wrapped up as well.

More commentary can be found on the Original Post @
"I've always been fascinated by the intersection between business, technology and consumer behavior (since the days I majored in Computer Science and Economics at Dartmouth.) And nowhere is that confluence playing out more than in the realm of social media on Facebook and LinkedIn. works with agencies and brands - large and small - to help them understand how to best distribute their message via both paid and virally via social media...and we're learning new things daily. This election has a special significance for me, since I became a US citizen just in time to vote in 2008. I'm very excited to see democracy continue to unfold in Hanover and beyond!" -- Rob Leathern '97, CEO & Founder

About is the first advertising technology company to be both an approved Facebook Ads API Tools vendor and have built its own robust real-time bidding and audience infrastructure, integrated with all major ad inventory sources.  Based in San Francisco and backed by a proven team of social media and audience experts, the technology team created for Display and  for Social, the leading multivariate ad platform for Facebook.  Visit to learn more about the company’s media and data products.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences