How Social Media Is Affecting Election 2012

Social Media’s Political Evolution

Before he became President, Barack Obama had a lot of friends. Some credit those 844,927 MySpace friends for helping him beat John McCain. Four years later, the President’s MySpace presence is nonexistent, unless I’m mistaken and one of these profiles of “President Obama” really is him.

While the President may have lost all his friends, at least a lot of people Like him, he has a good number of followers, he’s in a whole bunch of circles, many want to see his pictures and some are listening to his jams.

While they wait for their Republican opponent, the Obama/Biden 2012 campaign has already launched a social media assault. Combine it all — Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Spotify — and there’s nearly 40 million people “following” the President’s official social media accounts.

A View From the Anchor Desk

With nine months before the polls open in November, it’s obvious social media’s on the front lines of political strategy. A man with one of the best views of the digital battle is Bret Baier, anchor of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier.” During the past few months, he’s hosted GOP debates featuring viewer-submitted questions from YouTube and Twitter hashtags.

Despite his packed schedule, Baier set aside some time to chat with us about the affect social media is having on Election 2012.

Highlights from this episode of “Spiracle Buzz”:

  • How social media is different for Election 2012 vs. four years ago
  • What social media-generated debate questions have revealed about American voters
  • Which GOP candidate is actually writing his own tweets
  • What’s worked and what hasn’t worked with politicians during Google Plus hangouts
  • Why Baier thinks social media provides us hints into “the future of TV”
  • How Baier responds to criticism directly on Twitter

Do you follow President Obama or any of the GOP candidates on social media? Who’s doing the best job? Do those platforms really have the potential to sway voters? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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