Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Twitter in the 2012 Presidential Election

In a recent Huffington Post article, “Twitter Plays Outsize Role in 2012 Campaign,” author Beth Fouhy discusses the effects of Twitter on the presidency election.  A Pew Research Study has determined that only thirteen percent of registered American voters have a twitter account, however the scope of voters that twitter reaches is much larger.  When a presidential candidate tweets, their followers, as well as the media, pays close attention. News anchors are continuously repeating candidates tweets on national television programs. This is a dramatic change from how voters used to receive a contender’s opinion on a topic. Before, citizens obtained information about presidential candidates through a mediate form, such as a news anchor, newspaper or magazine summing up a candidate’s opinion. Now, the public is able to get facts straight from the source.
In four years, Twitter has transformed the presidential race and the way in which Americans receive information. With the adoption of Twitter by political candidates, as well as the news media, it is vital that Americans begin viewing Twitter as more than just a fad.  Fouhy concludes that Twitter doesn’t have the power to make or break a person with regards to the 2012 election, and I agree with her. Just because a candidate utilizes Twitter doesn’t mean that they will win the election; yet, employing this new form of social networking can’t hurt a contestant.  The more exposure a candidate has, the better. Therefore, utilizing all possible forms of media is imperative for a presidential hopeful to remain in the limelight. As of right now, it is hard to determine the exact effects of Twitter on the 2012 presidential election; but in years to come, we will undoubtedly refer to this election as the Twitter race and marking a new way of campaigning. 


  1. A number of your fellow students are arguing that Twitter in the hands of either sports figures or politicians allows direct connection to fans without relying on intermediaries in the press who may edit or comment on the message. It might be important to make a clearer case about how this relates to digital journalism, since readers of a blog called "Digital Journalism" will expect digital journalism stories. How do you distinguish between using Twitter to cover an election and using Twitter in the case of traditional coverage, for example?

  2. You might also want to link to the original Pew study, which is one of the advantages of the blog format: you can easily link readers to primary sources.