On the day Florida Sen. Marco Rubio declared his presidential bid, 695,000 American Facebook users generated 1.3 million interactions related to Rubio and his announcement, Facebook announced Wednesday. Those interactions include people who "liked" Rubio's page, and people who shared something, commented, or posted about the freshman senator.
For contrast's sake, during the 90 days preceding his announcement, about 25,000 people per day generated discussion about Rubio on Facebook.
Rubio announced his bid early Monday evening in Miami, becoming the third Republican to formally jump into the 2016 race. The Facebook data related to his announcement were gathered between 12:01 a.m. on Monday morning and 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
While Rubio's Facebook metrics reveal fairly robust interest in his candidacy, they don't quite measure up to those of some GOP competitors. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's announcement of a bid drew 5.5 million interactions from 2.1 million unique people, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's announcement drew 1.9 million interactions from 865,000 unique people.
It's worth noting that both of those men declared earlier in their 24-hour window than Rubio did, which may have helped increase their totals.
It's also worth noting that Hillary Clinton, the only Democrat to declare her bid thus far, dwarfs her GOP counterparts in the early race for Facebook buzz: Her announcement last Sunday drew 10.1 million interactions from 4.7 million unique people.
The top states discussing Rubio's announcement were, in order, Florida, the District of Columbia, Alabama, New Mexico, and Arizona.
In the week before he announced, the two topics most frequently associated with Rubio were foreign policy/international relations, and immigration. Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has taken a hawkish line on foreign policy issues from Cuban rapprochement to Iranian nuclear negotiations. He's also become a leading voice on immigration reform efforts, distinguishing himself from many of his potential primary rivals by supporting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as part of a broader reform package.