Lindsey Graham’s cellphone number overshadowed John Kasich’s presidential announcement for a chunk of yesterday. Donald Trump gave everyone the South Carolina senator’s digits at a rally in the lawmaker’s home state yesterday in a fit of pique after Graham urged Trump to “stop being a jackass.”
Graham and Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain are best buddies in the Senate and the former didn’t take lightly to Trump’s comments that McCain isn’t a real war hero.
Tuesday was supposed to be Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s day. The Ohio governor became the 16th GOP contender to announce and then traveled to New Hampshire for a town hall. Tracking mentions of all presidential contenders the first part of Tuesday morning, we see Kasich dominating the discussion, as his campaign planned. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was nothing but a virtual media afterthought.
But then, as had been the recent pattern, the reality TV star and businessman, sucked the oxygen out of the presidential race again.
Trump gave out Graham’s private cell phone number during his speech in South Carolina. This chart from Zignal Labs shows an 8-hour bloc of time when the Graham story trumped news of Kasich’s announcement.
Here’s how the chart for the day looks. By the end of the day, Kasich accounted for 21 percent of all 2016-related mentions. Per Facebook, 156,000 people on the site generated 261,000 interactions (likes, posts, comments, shares) related to Kasich and his announcement yesterday. Top states chattering about him (by engagement): Ohio, the District, West Virginia, Kentucky and New Hampshire.
Last night, Graham accompanied New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and her kids to a movie. And the candidate thought it would be funny for the kids to answer some of the calls to his flip phone. The mailbox was “definitely full,” Ayotte’s son joked to Ed O’Keefe, who happened to run into him at Gallery Place. Making the most of it, Graham asked on Twitter whether he should get a new iPhone or Android.