Posted by & filed under exam2012A, politics, Twitter.

Description: When Newt Gingrich said in a recent debate that he was a man of “grandiose” ideas, Mitt Romney’s campaign pounced. It sent mocking Twitter messages with a hashtag, “#grandiosenewt”, encouraging voters to add their own examples of occasions when they felt Mr. Gingrich had been “grandiose.”

Source: nytimes .com

Date: Jan 28, 2012

With 100 million active users, more than 10 times as many as in the 2008 election, Twitter has emerged as a critical tool for political campaigns, allowing them to reach voters, gather data and respond to charges immediately. But like most new media tools, it also carries danger for the campaigns. It can quickly define the political debate, whether candidates like it or not, and a single 140-character missive can turn into a nightmare.

“Twitter has changed the whole way that politics works,” said Teddy Goff, the digital director of President Obama’s re-election campaign. “Not just the press element, but the organizing element and the fund-raising element and the relationship building that all campaigns try to do.”. Read Rest of Story

Questions for discussion:

  1. What are the biggest effects of Twitter in the Presidential campaign?
  2. Can Twitter be a source of competitive advantage? Why or Why not?

5 Responses to “In Nonstop Whirlwind of Campaigns, Twitter Is a Critical Too”

  1. Paige Rosner

    in terms of competitive advantage, although there are scores of social media users, few who are well suited to using such outlets in politically advantageous ways – this requires calculation, knowledge and a very complicated social balancing act. This is not merely an issue within presidential campaigns, even here in Lethbridge the provincial campaign has led to some seriously embarrassing social media blunders, namely Baal Boora’s response on Shannon Phillips’ facebook page and the outcry from a politically diverse range of local citizens. Advantages to social media come from timely, clever and poignant responses and comments that are ON FORM – I firmly believe that for the most part the general public is not stupid and that they can see a blatant twitter abuser when they see one. Although a bad twitter can temporarily derail a campaign, it can also rectify one. It can create brief, easy to read and digest awareness on fundraising events, policy platforms, political debate, campaign developments and can often provide a sense of (believe it or not) intimacy between the candidate and her/his individual twitter followers. Although many politicians hire people to run their twitter accounts, this is not always the case. For the worse or the better, this can create a principal/agent conflict that can completely derail a campaign.

  2. Ashley O'Donnell

    The biggest effects of Twitter in the presidential campaign is the quickness and volume of information a presidential campaign committee can receive. As mentioned in the article, aides can receive information that is only beginning to form so that presidential candidates can address issues quickly and in a ways that will help their campaign or at least protect their chances in the running. I think another huge effect Twitter has in the presidential campaign is how easy is it to derail any candidates campaign by a simple tweet. For example, the supposedly mocking of Gingrich for crying about his mother by candidate Romney caused concern for Romney’s campaign. Something so juvenile has now become widespread because of Twitter and aides now have to work to put Romney in a better light when the campaign should be focused on what Romney can offer to American citizens in his platform.
    I think Twitter can become a source of competitive advantage. Most young people have become apathetic to politics so I think if presidential candidates are using Twitter, they can target young people (the primary users of social media) and hopefully get them more involved with politics. If they become more involved with politics because one presidential campaign used Twitter they may have a better chance of earning these young voters vote.

  3. Lacey Dodds

    The effect that Twitter has in the presidential campaign is the speed and large number of people the information can reach. This allows the candidates to react quickly to just leaked information in order to save their reputation or maintain their position in the campaign. This can also have a downside however in the fact that because everything on twitter goes public, it can be used for political slander and rumors in order to try and make other candidates look bad in the eyes of the general public. Twitter has become a whole new media level in order to devalue the opposition. Another downside is that the people following the candidates could get bombarded with too much information too quickly, and not be able to sort through it all when everything is happening so fast.
    I think twitter’s competitive advantage is that they will get the younger population involved in the voting process which is crucial because that is the population where the numbers regarding political involvement is the lowest. Twitter will especially affect the opinions of the younger population because they are the ones who mostly follow twitter and they make up a huge majority of the voting population.

  4. Sagrika

    Twitter is now able to reach the audience all around the globe. People such as celebrities use twitter for the promotions of their products or even just general promotions of themselves. But now politics is also starting to take a stab at twitter. This social media has allowed the politicians to promote themselves worldwide which could be taken in good or bad way. But the biggest effect of Twitter on Presidential Campaigns is the ability to reach voters, gather data and respond to charges immediately. This has also given them a chance to give out the simple details about their competitors that might give the audience a wrong impression and in that way have a competitive advantage over the opposition. People who do follow their favourites candidates also have the ability to promote them further. Twitter also gives the candidates a chance to spread out the entire campaign by giving out details which might affect a particular candidate’s reputation in good or a bad way.

  5. Darren Fletcher

    “Never underestimate the power of social media in politics” can be a motivational saying for all up and coming candidates. Some competitive advantages that can be recognized is the many Twitter users urge their friends and family to “Go and Vote” if they feel very strongly. The messages are always relevant to current topics and they can be used to fore other incumbents to rely and pick a side when conversational topics come up. What is said can and will be used against you in the wild wild world of social media.

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