Social media has been without a doubt a very prominent factor in this year’s presidential election. Lab42 recently performed a study surveying 500+ American social media users who were ages 18 and over. They came up with a pretty interesting infographic that broke down who registered Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and others are voting for. The infographic by Lab42 looks at some other interesting statistics such as what percentage of social media users tune in to satirical news shows such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Registered Democrats and Independents were each about 17% above what registered Republicans reported. Take a scroll through the full infographic below to see the rest of Lab42’s unique statistics of American social media users.
Do you think this study represents the current trend for voters who are active social media users? Studies have shown that Obama has exceeded Romney in social media tactics and strategies. Cisco reported that “The Obama team appears to have the edge over Romney’s campaign in exploiting social media tools and the Internet” (Cisco). According to Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, “the Obama campaign is using digital tools to reach voters at most four times the rate of the Romney campaign.” Therefore, it makes sense that Lab42’s study shows that a higher percentage of Democrats are using social media for the presidential campaign. The Obama team has a higher rate of engagement via Twitter, Facebook, etc., (Cisco) which can therefore reel the Democrats into using social media for political purposes.
The 2008 election was also highly driven by the Internet and social media. The Pew American Life and Internet Organization performed a study analyzing the importance of the Internet in the 2008 election, and the results also explained the importance and influence that social media had for American voters. Pew reported that “Two thirds of internet users under the age of 30 have a social networking profile, and half of these use social networking sites to get or share information about politics or the campaigns” and “28% of wired Americans say that the internet makes them feel more personally connected to the campaign and 22% say that they would not be as in evolved in the campaign if not for the internet” (The Pew American Life and Internet Organization). Although this specific study has not yet been performed for the 2012 election, I’d like to predict that the numbers for social media and Internet users have spiked up considering the amount of time the Obama and Romney campaign have put into their social media campaigns this election (Cisco).
You can read more about Lab42’s study on their website. Mashable also did a brief analysis of Lab42’s infographic, which you can read here. Mashable notes that this survey by Lab42 was conducted October 2-4 2012, and a lot has happened since then in terms of the election and social media campaigns. Lab42 explains that, “The majority of respondents took the survey after the first debate, and I think the only stat that may have changed is the undecided vote, which will continue to change up until the election,” (Lab42) and social media is bound to help the undecided voter swing one way or the other with its great effect on users.