Health care most shared issue in battleground states
September 17th, 2012
02:59 PM ET
10 years ago

Health care most shared issue in battleground states

Washington (CNN) - Of all the major issues our country is facing, stories relating to health care legislation are being shared online in key battleground states more than any other issue, according to data from social sharing company ShareThis.

According to information provided to CNN, 16.1% of total shares in 12 battleground states are stories about health care. Over 12% of shares are on stories relating to abortion, followed by education, the economy, role of government, gun control, environment, same-sex marriage, terrorism and foreign policy. Immigration is the least shared-issue with only 1.7% of all shares. Users from New Mexico share health care stories the most – at 45% – followed by New Hampshire at 20%.

One example of a shared health care story was an August 31st opinion column by Paul Krugman in The New York Times entitled "The Medicare Killers," a piece suggesting that a Romney administration would kill the Medicare program. The article amassed over 500 comments on the New York Times web site – both positive and negative.

ShareThis offers social media sharing buttons on more than 2,000 websites with political content, including CNN Money, ABC News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The company boasts that they reach over 190 million unique users through these websites. Thousands of other new sites are also counted in the data, as ShareThis offers options to share any page on the internet through a web browser plug-in.

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The company analyzed the activity of more than five million unique users in 12 swing states during the month of August who are sharing content on Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other social media platforms.

The states ShareThis identified as battle ground states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, which CNN classifies as toss-up states, and Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico, which CNN designates as leaning toward President Obama.

The data doesn't measure sentiment of each post and though it isn't a scientific poll, it does provide insight into which topics are generating the most online buzz in each state.

The ShareThis data from the 12 states isn't far off from national polling. According to a CNN/ORC poll from September 14th, 48% said healthcare is the most important domestic and social issue, followed by education with 33%. 7% chose gun policy, 6% said abortion, and 5% selected gay marriage.

However, the CNN/ORC poll finds that the economy is more important than any other type of issue to registered voters, with 59% saying they care about economic issues the most, 33% caring about domestic and socials the most, and only 4% choosing foreign policy.

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The most popular sharing service of all ShareThis' tools is Facebook, which account for 40% of all shares. This is followed by Twitter, email, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Stumbleupon.

"Generally, people share content they are passionate about," ShareThis Chief Technology Officer Nanda Kishore said in an interview. Kishore went on to explain that the company can see the nuances of what people like to share in each network. For example, he says people tend to share more polarizing content via email than on Facebook, which often reaches a wider audience, while the content shared on LinkedIn tends to be topics related to people's professions. As far as amount of content shared, the average is about 10 articles per person each month.

–Follow Eric Weisbrod on Twitter and Facebook

Filed under: 2012 • Health care
soundoff (17 Responses)

    The O-Media team at work distracting voters from what really affects their lives.., just like here on CNN.

    September 17, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Health care is just one of the major economic problems in this country. We spend far to much of a percentage of GDP on health care, with far too much of it going to insurers.

    September 17, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Obama's America 2016

    Democrats think their right is to have you pay for their life style.

    They couldn't be more wrong.

    September 17, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. aalisa31

    Healthcare is one of my main concerns... esp with a pre-existing condition ...

    September 17, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |

    Thank god for the ACA! This country has gotten SO far BEHIND in HEALTH care and ENERGY and TRASPORTATION than the rest of the world. OBAMA FORWARD!

    September 17, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "The O-Media team at work distracting voters from what really affects their lives.., just like here on CNN."

    Yeah, like the Congressional Research Service's study just released that concluded, after an in-depth analysis of the past 65 years of tax policy and economic trends, that THERE IS ZERO EVIDENCE THAT TAX CUTS FOR THE WEATLHY SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH OR CREATE JOBS. THAT is what the "liberal MSM" is ignoring today in order to help Mittens stay in the carefully cultivated "horse race." Grow up. Not a day goes by that the MSM isn't carrying GOP/Teatroll water by failing to report the facts...and not a day goes by that you shouldn't be thanking them profusely for helping prop up the myths and lies the GOP/Teatrolls have at the core of their platform.

    September 17, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Phi Thomas

    Its amazing how many people have no idea what the Health Care Bill covers, you listen to Fox, you listen to Hannity and you vote against your own interest. The truth is every one in this country is on layoff away from being uninsured, one layoff away from not having coverage. 90% of you are tied to a job you hate and afraid to make changes because you need healthcare. The rest of you think you have a good plan and won't find out how bad it is until something bad happens and your forced to use it. Bad Health Care one of the leading causes of bank ruptcy in this country. I in no way think Obamas Healthcare plan is a perfect fix but its better than nothing and you should hold your elected officials to fix it not destroy it because trust me we need something. Every one in this country is covered already no one gets turned down but they all get a bill at the end of day and what they can't pay for we are left covering the tab on

    September 17, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Democratic Party propaganda, that cannot be trusted.

    September 17, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. land of the free

    healthcare should be totally free along with education right through college as these are basic human rights. housing should be free along with food as these are basic human rights. I should be able to have as many babies as I want and a bigger house for them as well as more food and healthcare. the free flow of information with cell phones and cable tv should also be free. mt freedom will not be complete unless I am able to roam freely and I will need a free car for that, as well as free gasoline, because that came from government land that i partly own.

    September 17, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. John

    re...Democrats think their right is to have you pay for their life style.

    They couldn't be more wrong.

    GOp Bush tax cuts and spending trillions on wars that the U.S. should have never got involved in is the GOP legacy.
    It is about time the money is spent on Health care.....

    September 17, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Mikey

    @2016 – You'll have to explain why most red states are net users of government largess and most blue states are net contributors of taxes to be spend in said red states. The reality is that the liberals in the liberal states are paying for the government spending on those "self-sufficient" conservatives in the red states. I'd be more than happy to have that stop. How long ya think before a whole bunch of double-wides get repossessed?

    September 17, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    I am glad it is a law. Mitt flip-flop.

    September 17, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC


    @2016 – You'll have to explain why most red states are net users of government largess and most blue states are net contributors of taxes to be spend in said red states.
    In other words, most conservatives look around and see a proliferation of slouches living off of the government and want to blame liberals for the status quo. The reality is that it is their own fellow conservatives who are the slouches that they despise. It is economic policies in the red states that foster the culture, but they insist on blaming liberals for their own faults.

    September 17, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. gdad

    So based on the chart we are supposed to believe that global warming is of more importance than the economy to Florida voters? Right.... at least make the chart somewhat believeable

    September 17, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am tired of having my health care premiums raised because uninsured republicans show up at emergency rooms. They should no longer have their free lunch, and have some 'skin in the game.'

    September 17, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mikey – Red states always get more tax dollars back than they send to Washington. Thus they are deemed "Nanny States."

    September 17, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. CBR

    Folks, when a candidate can define the middle class as those who earn $200,000 to 250,000 we are in trouble. How many people do you know who would call themselves members of the middle class and are earning a salary like that.

    A candidate needs to fully understand teh situation and be willing discuss the issues with honesty. He.she also needs to comprehend the role played by large corporations, ceo's, bank executives, conglomerates, etc. The roles need to be defined and the actions discussed.

    Any way we look at it we do note that corporations sent their manufacturing jobs overseas leaving our workers stranded. The banks eagerly gave loans which could never be repaid and which sent many people into financial tailspins. Big box companies get most of their inventory from other countries. Those shirts bought by Mrs. Romney and touted by her husband were probably not made in this country.

    As soon as we level the playing field we may find our economy rebounding. If we continue to look for the cheapest items only we will not be successful.

    Our military must make sacrifices on our behalf. It is too bad we have not learned to make sacrifices for the good of our country. and our fellow citizens. When we really make some sacrifices to pay for this war then perhaps we will see our costs go down. You cannot possibly fight a war and continue normal domestic spending without increasing the amount of money coming into the federal government. WE needed to increase taxes or decrease spending as soon as we sent the first troops to Iraq.Unfortunately the last administration did not do so and we lost our balanced budget. We did not complain and we did not force the government to pay as you go. WE are just as much to blame for this mess we are in. Those who benefit directly from the war effort are silent now but they are pouring money into the pacs to keep the military industrial complex going full speed ahead. Do we call that being selfish?

    September 17, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |