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:
BY THE NUMBERS:Ford O'Connell, the president of Project Virginia, commented:
• 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.
“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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