After months of television debates and attack ads, recorded telephone solicitations and political mailers, to say nothing of campaign yard signs, we’re ready to cast our ballots and to start counting them.

In 2007, Barack Obama reached hundreds of thousands of voters through social media and e-mail campaigns. Today, Sarah Palin has more than 2.3 million Facebook followers. In 2010, most vote-seekers use a website and a Facebook or Twitter page to solicit donations and hope their messages go viral.

According to, social media makes the electorate feel powerful and influential because they’re in touch with the candidates. One tweet is easier than going “door-to-door in a cold rain” to spread the message.

So, we wonder, did social media influence your political choices this year?

No matter how you connected with your politicians, we hope you vote.

It’s all a matter of citizenship.

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This isn't an example of social media, but it appeared in an e-mail discussion group to which I belong. It shows the interest of local voters who have turned to the web to get political action.


Simple answer as to influence of social media: NONE


A particular individual might think that his or her vote was not influenced by social media, but that individual would be wrong.

If he or she is not a direct participant in social media, millions of other people around the country are, and their actions and opinions influence the electorate just as they are influenced by social media.

So whether you have a Facebook page, or you Twitter, or you blog, or you deign to participate in such tomfoolery, you live in a political atmosphere highly scented by the Aeolian crepitations of folks who have and who share, as we do here in this little social media corner, a preposterous faith in the importance of opinions.


"A particular individual might think that his or her vote was not influenced by social media, but that individual would be wrong" Nonsense. MY vote was not influenced by social media.


I respectfully disagree. While you may not be a user of social media, people around you are. Politicians use Facebook and Twitter each day to reach their constituents. Even though YOU don't have a Facebook or Twitter account, your understanding of the issues is based on politicians who ARE using social media.

TV forever changed the way voters viewed candidates in the 1960 presidential election, Even if voters claimed they didn't watch TV then, they WERE affected by the Kennedy-Nixon televised debate because candidates began to speak and dress for a different audience. Which, in turn, affected the voters who supported candidates. Because of TV, all candidates have learned to use the short, pithy soundbite. Politicians won't make the evening news with a long-winded statement. TV changed candidates and the public changed its views of candidates.

Social media in 2010 is the TV of the 1960s. Candidates use social media to get donor support and votes. They use blogs similar to this one. Their actions and comments evolve to fit the medium.

Not being a user of social media doesn't mean you haven't been used by social media.


I'm sorry, Charlotte, but by use of your sort of logic you could claim that Santa Claus influenced my vote. No, you're stretching far too much.


do you mean that you've never been influenced by tv coverage of a politician? that you've never seen something negative on tv and said i'll never vote for that jerk? or seen a positive tv clip and thought i agree with that? or changed channels because a newscaster said or yelled something you found objectionable? our surroundings influence us all and i bet you have been influenced too.


The question was, "So, we wonder, did social media influence your political choices this year?" And the author identified social media as Facebook and Twitter. The author clearly was not asking if media, in general, influenced anyone's vote. My answer to the specific question was, and is, "no".


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