Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced a long shot Democratic bid for president on Wednesday, and Facebook users, for the most part, responded with a yawn.
In the 24 hours surrounding Chafee's announcement speech, 20,000 people on Facebook in the U.S. generated only 27,000 interactions (posts, likes, shares, and comments) related to Chafee and his bid, Facebook announced Thursday.
That's the least buzz generated by any of the thirteen presidential campaign announcements about which Facebook has gathered data thus far this cycle.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton's announcement dwarfed the rest of the field in Facebook buzz, generating 10.1 million interactions from 4.7 million people. But even some other Democrats waging an uphill campaign against Clinton landed with a bigger splash on Facebook. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's announcement, for example, generated 120,000 interactions from 84,000 people. And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders generated 1.2 million interactions from 592,000 people on the day of his announcement.
On the Republican side, the leader is Ted Cruz, whose launch yielded 5.5 million interactions from 2.1 million people. The least buzzy Republican, according to Facebook, was former New York Gov. George Pataki, whose campaign announcement generated 81,000 interactions from 59,000 people.
Chafee is a former Republican senator from Rhode Island who lost his 2006 reelection bid. In 2010, he ran for governor of the state as an independent and won, serving from 2011 through 2015.
In his announcement speech on Wednesday, which leaned heavily on foreign policy, Chafee reminded his audience that he was one of only 23 senators to vote against the 2003 invasion of Iraq (and the only Republican serving at the time to cast such a vote.) He also raised a few eyebrows by calling for the U.S. to switch to the metric system, framing the move as a "bold embrace of internationalism."