According to the Washington State Republican Party's communications plan (up on their website), they are trailing the Democrats in the social media war. [UPDATE: They've taken the memo down, but here it is.]
The GOP white paper laments that even though they've jumped from 8,140 Facebook Likes to 8,260 FB Likes over the spring of 2014, a 1.5 percent increase, the Democrats made a bigger jump—from 13,245 Likes to 14,418, an 8.8 percent jump. In short, the Democrats started ahead (62.7 percent higher) and remained ahead (74.4 percent higher).
(Today, the GOP's FB page stands at 8,486 Likes to the Democrats 15,395 Likes. That's a 2.6 percent gain for the Republicans and a 6.7 percent gain for the Democrats.)
In a familiar problem for the GOP, they lament about their disproportionate popularity with men. They write: "As of March 19, 2014 Facebook analytics ... indicate that 59% of our likes are men, 58% of the people we 'reach' are men, and 62% of the people we 'engage' are men."
The Republican report found the same deficit on Twitter. The GOP's following jumped 9.7 percent, from 4,235 to 4,647, while the Democrats jumped 16.2 percent, from 5,550 to 6,451. And again, the Democrats ended up with a stronger lead: From 31 percent higher to 38.8 percent higher.
(The latest numbers on Twitter do show some slightly good news for the GOP. They are at 4,967 Twitter followers today, a 6.8 percent jump from the time of their report. And the Democrats are at 6,892 Twitter followers today, also a 6.8 percent jump the last count cited in the GOP report.)
In a familiar problem for the GOP, they sigh about their disproportionate popularity with men. They write: "As of March 19, 2014 Facebook analytics of the WSRP Facebook fan page indicate that 59% of our likes are men, 58% of the people we 'reach' are men, and 62% of the people we 'engage' are men."
"Likes" are the raw number of people who "Like" your site. "Reach" is how many people your site communicated with in the past month. And "Engage" is how many people "Liked," commented, or shared in a given month.
The Republicans don't have the Democrats' numbers on those (it's proprietary), but here's what the Democrats told me: 54 percent of their "Likes" are women and 44 percent are men (The FB average, by the way, is 46-54 women to men).
The Democrats say they reach more women as well: 62-37 women to men. (The FB average is 54-44). And the Democrats say they engage more women than men—also at 62-37 women to men. (The FB average is 54-44).
"The people who primarily support the death penalty are Republicans—men, whites and the wealthy... Those are not groups that vote for Jay Inslee anyway."
According to the GOP's white paper, they have a strategy to make up the gender gap by criticizing Gov. Jay Inslee for his announcement last February that he was suspending use of the death penalty in Washington state. Planning to spin his moratorium as a "moratorium on justice," they explain: "At every opportunity, we will seek to turn around their [the Democrats'] false 'war on women' argument (e.g., Governor Inslee’s 'moratorium on justice' allowing the murderers of women and children to avoid the death penalty)."
While the death penalty has strong support nationally—63 percent according to a 2013 Gallup Poll—it is far less popular among women than men: 67-28 for men vs. 59-31 for women. (Additionally, a June 2014 ABC poll found that when given a choice between the death penalty or life in prison, 52-44 percent of those polled said convicted murderers should get life in prison. And the poll noted: "Among the groups that had stronger than average support for life without parole were women (57%)."
Given those stats, the fact that the GOP would choose to focus on Inslee's death penalty stance as a way to win back women actually seems indicative of their problem with women.
In the wake of Gov. Inslee's announcement, the GOP did tell the Seattle Times that they have internal polling showing that the death penalty is popular in Washington state. They didn't cite any numbers specific to women, though.
And in a national story about partisan politics and the death penalty last May, GOP state Rep. Matt Manweller (R-13, Ellensburg) was skeptical of exploiting the issue, telling NPR: "The people who primarily support the death penalty are Republicans—men, whites and the wealthy... Those are not groups that vote for Jay Inslee anyway."