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Election 2010: Did social media use give Republicans the edge? November 4, 2010

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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It has always been said that Democrats mastered social media in 2004 when Howard Dean took America by storm with his liberal politics and enormous online network of supporters. Barack Obama’s campaign received the same credit in 2008. However, by most accounts regarding the 2010 midterm election, the Republicans this time were the victors in social media use. Looking to Facebook, for example, Republican Senate candidates had more than 1.4 million fans, and 500,000 followers on Twitter, compared to the 300,000 friends and 90,000 Twitter followers for Democratic Senate candidates.

The greatest asset for Republicans this time was surely the Tea Party supporters and their online activism. The confederation of online conservative activists was built largely by local groups working in concert with national organizations, including FreedomWorks and American Majority.

For more in the Republican dominance of social media in 2010, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  How does social media activism relate to public relations in general?

2.  What does high activism in social media say about a campaign’s political supporters?

3.  What lessons can one learn from the 2010 campaign regarding the use of social media?

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