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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Facebook

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October 17, 2012 at 7:10 AM

What’s in a “Like”?: Social Media and the Election

We hear so much about “the power of social media.” But just how much are we  influencing others when we post or tweet to those already in our audiences?  Social Media and Politics – “Like”? “Unlike”?Image from Drexel NOW website SEATTLE – You care about the future of your country.  In this closely fought election and…

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Binders full of women, Election 2012

August 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM

In digital campaign for president, Obama far more active than Romney

Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter and Youtube channels became part of the political communication mix during the 2008 Presidential election. How do the Obama and Romney campaigns compare as we approach November 2012?

If an election outcome rested on how well a campaign does with Twitter, then President Barack Obama’s camp would be focused not on November 2012 but January 2013. Not only is the Obama campaign out-tweeting the Mitt Romney team but the Obama tweets are being shared at a rate of 17-to-1 compared with Romney’s.

Obama leads Romney

Project for Excellence in Journalism, August 2012

The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism analyzed the digital activity of the two campaigns over a two-week period in June. The report shows that there is a “digital gap” between the presumed Republican and Democratic candidates for president, just as there was between Obama and John McCain in 2008.

The report reviews candidate activity across a mature set of digital platforms: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube plus the campaign websites. In June, the Obama campaign had a presence on nine platforms: Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Spotify, Twitter (@BarackObama plus five others), Tumblr and YouTube. The Romney campaign had public accounts on five: Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Twitter and YouTube; it has subsequently added Tumblr and Spotify, according to the report.

Obama established a broad digital presence in 2008 and has maintained it throughout his presidency. Thus it is not surprising that his digital support dwarfs Romney’s.

But it is not even close, in ways that are intriguing.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Facebook, Mitt Romney

July 31, 2012 at 6:45 AM

Negative campaigning on the rise? Social media make it seem so

Digital media channels offer political parties new platforms to raise money, promote events, and educate voters about their candidates. Unfortunately much of that space is used for negative campaigning.

SEATTLE — Something is rotten in the state of Washington. It’s political campaign season again, which we all know means a fair share of negative campaigning. Yet this year, catty comments and juvenile jibes seem to be flooding inboxes, political party websites, Twitter feeds, and Facebook posts more than ever.

Both major parties are guilty.

A scan of Washington State Republican and Democratic party home pages shows that negative campaigning against political opponents outweighs any serious discussion of issues. These home pages make it clear both parties have their eyes on the governor’s race.

Washington Democrat and Republican web sites

Screen captures of Washington State Democratic (left) and Republican party (right) websites on July 21, 2012.

On July 21, 2012, the Washington State Democrats home page “Featured News” section linked to three unfavorable stories about presumed Republican nominee Rob McKenna — the Washington State Attorney General. One of its five featured photos also targeted McKenna.

That same day, the Washington State Republican Party home page featured a video criticizing likely Democratic nominee Jay Inslee for resigning his U.S. Representative seat to run for governor. This video appeared alongside an article titled “Irrelevant Facts by Jay Inslee.”

Is it possible this campaign has become more negative than previous campaigns even though it has barely begun?

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Comments | More in State | Topics: Facebook, Jay Inslee, negative campaign