More on Twitter

"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.

There's more:

"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."


Paul said...

A good examination of the situation.

And candidates must rely on their own resources (particularly the internet) partly because the Republican Congressional and Senate Campaign Committees are so useless.

The Republican House body spent vast sums on the campaign of Dede the ACORN and SEIU connected leftist - the person who pulled out of the New York race and endorsed the Democrat.

And how much has the Republican Senate body spent on ads to counter the millions of Dollars being spent by the Democrats - how much on a Scott Brown victory that would truely be "historic" (as the last Republican Senate victory in Mass was in 1972).

You guessed it - NOTHING AT ALL.

So it is the internet or bust - for any candidate who just relies on the ads their own campaign money can buy them is bust.

Antoine Clarke said...

In defense of the RNC.

1) the bit that really must have them chortling is that the Democrats have blown millions that can no longer used for November. Blowing GOP funds to try and win Massachusetts (possibly losing anyway) is not as good as building up money to defend Missouri and take Nevada, Delaware, North Dakota and Arkansas.

That was certainly a sound strategy at the start of this campaign.

2) "Tea party" style campaigns may work better when they're not too connected with the RNC. Brown is not a libertarian, but he has chanelled the energy of the 2002 campaign to abolish state income tax. RNC ads might have buggered up things for Brown the way Obama's reference to buying trucks "helped" Coakley.

Let's give the RNC the benefit of doubt that it thought it was more useful to stay out of this campaign than to blunder in.

3) What if the real answer was "what's the RNC money for anway?" We don't need them. Let the candidates show how good they are in primaries and let them do their own fundraising. Brown took in over $5 million last week. And he didn't need the MSM, so where's the money being spent?

TV ad rates are falling, volunteers don't cost much and Twitter, YouTube, Facebook are free. The Flickr account costs $19.95 a year if you upload more than 200 photos.

To me the real incompetent is the LP candidate: his website is a lot worse than mine would be for a campaign of this kind and the material going online is of poor quality and in too small a quantity. Kennedy is "working full time" on this, but not smartly. If Twitter can negate the advantage of Democrats in Massachusetts, why can't the LP at least match the online efforts of the other parties?

Jordan Raynor said...

Thanks for linking to the article, Antoine! Please check out my blog at http://JordanRaynor.com or you can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JordanRaynor.

Antoine Clarke said...

Hi Jordan and welcome.

I must admit it was a close call between using your quote or Justin Hart's to open my posting. Which is why I put it in bold. ;-)

I'm putting your link into the main body.

Jordan Raynor said...

Justin is the expert! He is doing fantastic work out in CA. Thanks again!