Rick Perry’s gay-baiting Iowa ad may have ruffled some feathers within his campaign, but it’s nothing compared to the outpouring of hatred it’s received on YouTube, which now rivals even viral video lightning rod Justin Bieber.
A spokesman for YouTube tells TPM the video is the most viewed video in America today, as well as the top video in Des Moines, IA and Manchester, NH. But the reaction isn’t exactly positive. The Perry camp’s settings for the video enable users to “like” or “dislike” the spot and as of this afternoon viewers have given it 4,485 “likes” and 211,664 “dislikes.” That gives it a staggering approval rating of about 2.1% among those who care enough to cast a vote.
To put this in perspective, let’s take a look at some of the other videos with similar levels of detractors.
YouTube doesn’t let users search its videos by “most disliked” but there are unofficial counts on some tech blogs, like FlowingData.com. Justin Bieber makes up half the videos in their March 2011 estimate of the ten most “disliked” videos, including “Justin Bieber - Somebody To Love Remix ft. Usher” (146,000 dislikes currently), “Justin Bieber - One Less Lonely Girl” (118,000), and “Justin Bieber - Never Say Never ft. Jaden Smith” (209,000). Bieber’s video for “Baby,” which is also the most viewed video on YouTube of all time, does top Perry, however, with over 2 million “dislikes.” Perry is also doing better than Rebecca Black’s infamous “Friday” video, which had well over 1 million dislikes before it was removed from the site.
The Perry video’s only been up two days, so there’s plenty of time for him to move his way up the list. Watch out, Bieber.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.