Social media connectedness might not decide any 2012 elections, but it probably will play a bigger role than ever in the coming campaigns. GOP candidates, in particular, believe they will benefit hugely next year with links to online networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
The Republican charge into Web communication has been so energetic that Democrats no longer assume can they have an edge in using it to reach voters.
“During last year’s midterm elections, Republicans caught up with Democrats in using technology and social networks,” The New York Times
reports, “and now many Republicans elected to the House and Senate are using these tools more than Democrats, according to several political and technology experts.”
The GOP dot-com strategy is also making its mark on the presidential contest, the National Journal
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney formally announced his 2012 candidacy with a single Twitter post and a short Web video. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty chose Facebook for the video launching his exploratory bid. Herman Cain, the pizza-delivery magnate, issued a statement of his intent on his website.
“I remember when people mocked a certain former governor for using Facebook to post policy statements,” Rebecca Mansour, a spokeswoman for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Tweeted recently. “Now everyone is doing it. #rogueleader.”
As politicians embrace social media, some Web-community pioneers are returning the favor. The Wall Street Journal
reports that Facebook executives want a bigger presence in Washington, D.C., and are hiring more lobbyists to reach policy makers on issues of concern to the company.
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