"I've seen it translate into dollars. I've seen it translate into traffic. I've seen it translate into media news stories," he said. "How that translates into votes, I don't think people have figured that out yet."
Justin Hart, director of new media for the Senate campaign of Chuck DeVore (Republican) in California.
Over at RealClearPolitics (which doesn't have a share button for its Politics Nation section yet) a good article with some interesting quotes about how 2010 is shaping up to be the year when election campaigns are fought and lost on Twitter.
Here's a summary:
On December 28, Brown announced what became the signature force behind his campaign, his pledge to be a 41st vote against President Obama's national health care reform legislation. Accompanying that news on his Twitter feed was this notation: #41stvote. Referred to as a hashtag, those nine characters became a mechanism to attract like-minded activists and identify new ones. Reflecting an enthusiasm gap not just in the state but among national politicos, Brown now boasts more than 11,000 Twitter followers, compared to barely 4,000 for Democrat Martha Coakley.
That following paid dividends last Monday when, aided by a strong Twitter campaign from Brown and dozens of his newest online advocates, the Republican smashed a fundraising goal of $500,000 for a one-day "money bomb," generating instead well beyond $1 million. That total from just 24 hours was well beyond what he had raised in the entire previous fundraising period. Where there had been skepticism before about what kind of impact Twitter could have, the Brown campaign is making a convincing case.
"When I started, everyone joked that I was the director of shiny objects," said John Randall, director of new media for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "This is not a shiny object. This is industry standard now. It's definitely something that I point out to all the campaigns."
In Virginia's gubernatorial campaign, Republicans credit an effective use of social media by the campaign of Bob McDonnell to respond to potentially damaging claims coming from traditional media sources, most obviously the Washington Post's coverage of "Thesis-gate." The Republican Governors Association found based on its polling that many more voters said they were getting their news about the race online, and among that subset, their won handily - 50-38 in New Jersey, and 62-38 in Virginia.
"We realized there is a changing phenomenon. More folks, particularly young people in that demographic that frankly our party has not done that well in the past, are getting their information there," McDonnell said at an RGA conference after the campaign.
Finally, Jordan Raynor, a Florida-based Republican online strategist [blog, Twitter], said: "It has never been easier to be as influential as you can be today. Information is cheap. Information is easier to produce. And if you have a quality message, it's never been cheaper to get out."