Thursday, October 08, 2009

Exposing the 'Twitter Gap'

According to a news release from Project Virginia, a campaign consulting service, more Republican than Democratic candidates in the Old Dominion use Twitter as a means of campaign outreach.

As of 12:00 p.m. (does that mean 12:00 noon?) on October 7:

• Republicans in Virginia have more than twice as many total Twitter users following them as their Democratic counterparts. Followers: “R” = 13,074. “D” = 6,328.
• Republicans hold a 33-18 lead among candidates using a dedicated campaign Twitter account.
• 9 of the Top 10 Candidates for VA House of Delegates with the most Twitter followers are Republicans.
• Republican statewide candidates – McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli – have 8,462 followers versus the 5,073 users following Democratic statewide candidates Deeds, Wagner, and Shannon.
Ford O'Connell, the president of Project Virginia, commented:
“It’s clear Virginia Republicans have taken the lead in using Twitter to connect with voters. Twitter’s overall impact on politics has yet to be fully realized or quantified, but it’s apparent that campaigns which are early adopters of social media tools will be more engaged with their supporters.”
The news release also provided a link to all of the Virginia politicians (at least those running for office this year) who have -- and don't have -- Twitter accounts.

I'm not sure whether the "Twitter gap" is significant enough to make a major difference in the outcome of this year's elections for the General Assembly and for statewide offices. It might make a difference in some close races or in contests for open seats, where a slight communications superiority could pull a candidate over the finish line.

I hope that on November 4, somebody does an analysis of Twitter vs. non-Twitter candidates, to see if tweeting gives candidates a winning edge.

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Anonymous said...

As of 12:00 p.m. (does that mean 12:00 noon?) on October 7:

Yes. Why are you showing your ignorance? You look old enough to know the difference between 12:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., and you should be smart enough to find out the answer to this instead of asking in your blog. Go GOP, ha!

Rick Sincere said...

My point in asking for clarification was this:

There is no such thing as "12:00 a.m." or "12:00 p.m." There is "12:00 noon" and there is "12:00 midnight."

"A.M." means "ante meridian," or "before noon." "P.M." means "post meridian," or "after noon."

By definition, noon cannot be either before or after noon. If "12:00 p.m." means anything at all, it means "12:00 midnight," because midnight comes "after" noon.

But midnight also comes "before" noon, so it could be called "12:00 a.m."

It's not called that, of course, because in English we have something called precision: That is why we have "12:00 o'clock midnight," which is precise, but not "12:00 o'clock a.m.," which is, at best, ambiguous.

The same goes for the imprecision of "12:00 o'clock p.m."

You were obviously uncertain in your criticism. Otherwise you would have used your name rather than post your comment anonymously.

I'm glad I had this opportunity to explain why I asked for clarification. Some people are apparently ignorant of proper English usage when it comes to time-telling.

eda said...