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2012: The Viral Election
October 25, 2012 | Posted By: Amy DiFrancesco
This election cycle has provided voters with more meme-worthy materials than ever before, from #bindersfullofwomen and its ensuing trolling of Amazon product reviews to a mash-up of political photos with quotes from Arrested Development. The presidential debates saw 10.3 million, 7.2 million and 6.5 tweets, respectively. Even if politics isn’t your thing, the Internet has likely found a way to tie it in to your pop culture preferences.
It’s not just a matter of jokes; significant political engagement is occurring over social networks. Mitt Romney’s official social profiles have nearly 11 million likes on Facebook and a million and a half followers on Twitter. Barack Obama’s Facebook page has over 31 million likes and over 21 million followers on Twitter. Not counting associated party and campaign sites, these accounts offer campaign, donation and platform information in spaces where people are naturally congregating online.
This sharable content isn’t just limited to Facebook and Twitter. The DNC cleverly developed RomneyTaxPlan.com as a way to mock the lack of details from Mitt Romney on the issue, and this “binders full of women” game appeared mere hours after the second debate. Chances are the most political commentary that the casual voter has heard is not about economic or foreign policy issues, it’s about how Big Bird might be on the unemployment lines. It’s great that we’re talking politics, but we do need to remember there’s a major decision to be made.
While those social numbers seem fairly impressive, there are over 311 million people in the United States. In the 2010 midterm elections, 90 million Americans voted. The campaigns are engaging with plenty of people, but there’s still a large gap. Will humor and #horsesandbayonets help determine the outcome of the election? We’ll find out November 6.
Written by Amy DiFrancesco
Amy has a strong love of vocabulary, punctuation and all things digital. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Convergence Journalism, specializing in Print Editing, and has minors in both English and French. She parlayed these studies into marketing, where she's been utilizing her words through new and social media, online content creation and the process of web strategy development for a wide range of industries. Amy hails from the shores of Erie and believes her Cleveland sports fandom helps build patience and strong moral character.