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Trump outpaces Bush in Facebook engagement

The presidential bids of businessman and reality television star Donald Trump and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush launched this week. But how did the two starkly different men stack up against their rivals in the race for social media attention?

On Facebook anyway, there is almost no comparison.

Bush declared Monday. In the 24 hour period between 12:01 a.m. ET June 15 and 12:01 a.m. ET June 16, 493,000 people on Facebook in the U.S. generated 849,000 interactions, including likes, posts and shares, related to Bush and his announcement.

After Trump stepped into the race Tuesday, in the 24-hour period between 12:01 a.m. ET June 16 and 12:01 a.m. ET June 17, 3.4 million people on Facebook in the U.S. generated 6.4 million interactions.

But the social media numbers seem to indicate more curiosity at this point in the race. And interest isn't yet translating into corresponding poll numbers this early in the contest. Bush remains the GOP favorite in polls - though other candidates like Marco Rubio and Scott Walker are not far behind.

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Comparing the two GOP candidates with others on Facebook, Trump takes the lead on interactions. Ted Cruz comes in second with 5.5 million interactions on Facebook. Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul all hit seven digits.

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee lags the pack. In the 24 hours surrounding his announcement speech, 20,000 people on Facebook in the U.S. generated only 27,000 interactions related to him and to his bid. That's the least buzz generated by any of the presidential candidates.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton dominates everyone in the 2016 race when it comes to Facebook engagement: her April debut generated 10.1 million interactions from 4.7 million people.

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The numbers, of course, provide only one data point - and it's one which doesn't indicate whether the Facebook interactions were positive or negative, and there is no concrete evidence that social media stardom will translate into votes.

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