Social media has taken on a more visible role in this year’s election, according to a Pew Research Center study released Tuesday.
Nearly one-quarter (22 percent) of registered voters have posted how they voted on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. One such tweet came from—no surprise—the social media savvy Kim and Kourtney: "Sending in my absentee ballot now!!! Make sure you vote!!!!...”
Pew found little significant statistical difference between supporters of President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney who have posted their voting preference.
In a race deemed too close to call, analysts and pundits are saying the results will hinge on voter turnout. Thirty percent of registered voters have been encouraged to vote for either Obama or Romney by family and friends via posts on Facebook or Twitter, Pew found. Twenty percent of registered voters have encouraged others to vote via social network posts.
Pew found little statistical difference between those who engage in face-to-face conversation and those who post on social media to get out the vote for their candidate. Thirty-two percent of Romney supporters have talked up their candidate face-to-face, compared with 29 percent of Obama supporters. One-quarter of supporters for each candidate have posted support on social media. Telephone calls rank third, followed my emails and texts.
Some demographic groups, Pew reports, were more likely to get the message in different channels. Millennials have been the most active users and recipients of social media to promote engagement in the election. Forty-five percent report being encouraged to vote by family and friends (vs. 40 percent of registered voters ages 30-49) while just over one-third (34 percent) said they have encouraged others to vote for their candidate.
Overall, female registered voters were more likely to hear from family and friends via social media postings that encouraged them to vote for either candidate. Registered voters under 30 were more likely to receive “go and vote” messages from family and friends.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.