By Matt Rooney
We took a look at the audiences for the NJGOP state senator caucus last week, Save Jerseyans, and I noted at that time how Pew had recently found 55% of Americans using social media to get their news on a regular basis. 52% of that new news majority primarily turn to Facebook.
Scary? Maybe. But it’s reality. The big campaigns including Trump 2020 consider Mark Zuckerberg’s invention to be their singular most important investment, second only perhaps to television (and even that point is now arguable).
Next up: we examined the 21 county parties. The front line organizations that are supposed to keep Republican messaging going 24/7/365 even when it isn’t election season. What we found… not pretty!
Some perspective: our own 20,600 strong Save Jersey page has more Facebook fans than the bottom 17 of 21 counties – combined! And many of these county organizations naturally have a lot more $$$ to play with than yours truly.
8 of 21 county orgs have less than 1,000 likes.
Hudson County’s GOP (ranked #21 of 21) hasn’t posted anything on its page since March 14, 2011 (during Obama’s and Christie’s first terms). Still, strength of the local GOP or “blueness” of the county aren’t necessarily dispositive indicators of audience size. One of the state’s bluest counties – my own stomping grounds of Camco – has the 4th largest Facebook page following. In Morris County where there’s a competitive legislative district (LD25) and a House seat (Sherrill of NJ-11), the county party’s Facebook page is about 2/3th the size of Monmouth County’s group.
Btw- the Morris Democrats are only a few hundred likes behind the Morris GOP.
A few of these counties do have active Young Republican or women’s auxiliary groups (blanket honorable mention), but nothing massive enough to compensate for the fact that the mothership/gateway pages are lackluster.
Why it matters: again, a growing number of American voters are turning to Facebook as their primary (!) or at least top source for news. If the NJGOP’s front line organizations are barely existent on this platform? It’s not at all hard to see why Democrats now enjoy a nearly 1 million voter registration advantage state-wide. They’re winning the messaging battle by forfeit. It’s also extremely hard for these county parties to push back against a Mainstream Media hatchet job with such small launching point Facebook audiences.
Here’s the list…
- Sussex GOP – 5,704
- Burlington County Republican Committee – 5,064
- Monmouth GOP – 3,378
- Camden County Republican Committee -2,817
- Ocean County Republican Organization – 2,324
- Morris County GOP – 2,103*
- Atlantic County Republicans – 1,955
- Bergen BCRO – 1,722
- Passaic County Regular Republican Organization – 1,675**
- Cape (May) GOP – 1,602
- Somerset GOP – 1,569
- Middlesex County GOP – 1,181
- Gloucester GOP – 1,076
- Salem County Republicans – 966
- Cumberland GOP – 889
- Mercer County GOP – 845
- Union County Republicans – 773
- Warren County GOP – 772
- Hunterdon GOP – 654
- Essex County Republicans – 259
- Hudson County – 245
*Corrections: An earlier version of this post incorrectly linked to the wrong Morris County GOP FB page. The link (and proper numbers/stats) have been updated accordingly, and Morris County moved up our list to #6.
**There’s apparently a clone Passaic GOP account; the real one has about 1,200 more followers than the fake one. We have correct Passaic’s rank accordingly to #9.