If Facebook likes were an accurate representation of votes in the upcoming presidential election, although Donald Trump would win Nevada’s vote, Dr. Ben Carson would likely become the 45th President of the United States.
According to data produced by Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight and Facebook, appropriately titled “The Facebook Primary,” Carson leads the pack across the board with 26 percent of Facebook likes. Falling shortly behind him — with 23 percent of likes — are both Bernie Sanders and Trump.
The analysis looked at which candidates are “winning the battle for Facebook likes.”
It’s important to note this data is not a representative sample of the United States, as Facebook users tend to be much younger than the national average and a “like” does not always mean “support.” As FiveThirtyEight makes clear: “Facebook likes are not votes.”
However, according to those page likes, Nevadans on Facebook support Trump more than any other candidate. Those in Washoe County support Sanders the most with 29 percent while Clark County residents supported Trump with 25 percent.
In the graphic to the left from FiveThirtyEight, purple represents Sanders, blue represents Carson and orange represents Trump. Click to view the entire map.
Only a few percentage points separated the candidates that currently have the most Facebook likes — Trump (25 percent), Sanders (23 percent) and Carson (22 percent).
In nine other counties — mainly rural — averaging around 30 percent of Facebook likes, Carson is the most supported.
In the Las Vegas Valley there’s currently a Facebook like tie between Sanders and Trump at 24 percent. Following is Carson at 21 percent, Ted Cruz at 11 percent and Hillary Clinton at 10 percent in Las Vegas.
Facebook users in Summerlin and the southwest (zip codes 89109, 89117, 89134, 89138, 89144-45 and 89149) support Donald Trump.
Those in central Las Vegas (areas of 89101-02, 89104, 89106-08, 89110, 89128 and 89146) opt for Bernie Sanders.
In second place, with 21 percent of Facebook likes, Ben Carson is most liked among Las Vegans in the northwest and in North Las Vegas (89124, 89129-31, 89143 and 89166).
Nevada will host a Democratic caucus on Feb. 20, followed by a GOP caucus on Feb. 23. In the Iowa caucuses, Clinton narrowly won, while Cruz won the Republican caucus.
Contact Caitlin Lilly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Twitter: @caitielilly_