Obama vs. Romney: The Effect of Social Media on the 2012 Elections

Recently, Obama and Romney have been working on social media sites to increase their influence. As it is fairly apparent that the presidential race is now between Romney and Obama, the race online is heating up. Interaction on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, help candidates to not only gain more supporters but demonstrate that they are able to try something new to connect with voters.

Social media has the effect of causing widespread discussion on a number of different topics. Both Obama and Romney are working towards maintaining their influence through the support found in social media. A recent Sachs/Mason-Dixon poll found that Romney has a 3 point lead nationally over Obama (roughly 47-44%). The poll also found some increasing trends in terms of how social media is used in political campaigns. It was found that voters want Obama to be their Facebook friend (nearly 33%-37%), while more voters think Romney looks “presidential (about 40%-35%).” 

This information tells little about the candidate themselves, but shows how support for a certain candidate is spread across the board as well as how each candidate is doing their best to reach out to their supporters.

It is important for voters to understand that in the time of social media it is becoming increasingly important to try to connect as much as possible. Just as voters already connect with one another, candidates should be able to connect to a wider audience and make their voice understood. 

Obama is still leading Romney in Twitter followers, but both are getting new followers everyday as the campaigns begin to heat up. In the days and weeks coming forward, it will be interesting to see how both use social media to their advantage.