Barack Obama, Mitt Romney Facebook Fans More Interested In Personal Stories Than Politics, Study Finds

The polls show a tight race, but President Barack Obama handily outperforms Republican nominee Mitt Romney in at least one area: Facebook.

In May, nearly five times as many people were talking about Obama as Romney on the social network, and Obama gained four and one-half times as many new fans as the Republican presidential nominee, according to new data from social media analytics provider Socialbakers.

Obama also has Romney beat when it comes to earning the "shares" and comments that make a post go viral, though Romney is far more adept at it than many of those he beat to win the GOP nomination. Facebook users were far more engaged with politician's positive posts or insights into their private lives than they were with political attacks or campaign rhetoric, according to the Socialbakers data.

An Oct. 29 Obama post about the success of student loan reforms earned him 170,378 comments, 1,817 "shares" and 23,141 "likes" on the site. In comparison, an April 11 Romney post blaming Obama for poor employment earned a whopping 60,268 "likes," but was shared by fewer than 1,000 and earned only 4,333 comments.

But the most viral political post in the 2012 race so far came from candidate Ron Paul, who recognized his 55th wedding anniversary on Feb. 1. The post, which was a photo from his wedding day, earned 68,431 "likes" and was shared by nearly 4,000 users, more than doubling Obama's most highly-shared post.

Social media presence correlates with campaign success, according to Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab.

"So far, those with the highest level of engagement have emerged as the frontrunners throughout the campaign, with Romney consistently leading the pack for the GOP," he said in a statement. "But with this new head-to-head comparison of the final two, it's quite clear that Obama blows Romney out of the water."