Twitter's Influence on the Election

Published: Nov. 7, 2012 at 7:32 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va -- A picture of President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, hugging is an example of Twitter's role in the election. That photo is the most retweeted tweet from President Obama. Within 12 hours, it had been retweeted nearly 700,000 times and had close to 3.5 million likes on Facebook.

Brian Kaylor, a James Madison University communications professor, said this election shows just how powerful Twitter can be for voters. He said some candidates were able to connect with voters on a more personal level through Twitter.

The social website also allowed voters to show their support for candidates and get their friends to vote for them too. Kaylor said Twitter alone helped bring in votes for many candidates.

"Even though the campaign's over, I'm sure no one wants to think about another campaign, we're going to have another one pretty soon here in Virginia, just next year with some serious, big races and I think this is another reminder for candidates that they've got to reach out on social media and they've got to be on Twitter," said Kaylor.

Kaylor said the candidates on Twitter could reach out to younger voters easily too.

He said Twitter was also a way for all of us to get information on the results in this election. People could now follow the races they were most interested in, instead of waiting for it to air on television.

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