Why Do They Tweet? The Use of Twitter by U.S. Senate Candidates in 2010
25 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2010 Last revised: 10 Aug 2014
Date Written: December 14, 2010
Recently, pundits and scholars have suggested that social network sites (SNSs) have fundamentally changed political campaigns. While SNSs may certainly have changed how information flows between citizens, activists and political elites, candidates still use SNSs to fulfill their electoral goals. Therefore, this paper explores Twitter use by Senate candidates in the weeks prior to the 2010 Midterm Election in an effort to determine what leads to use of SNSs during campaigns. The central findings of this paper are: 1) candidates tweet and spend money more when in competitive electoral setting, which suggest in both cases that resources are allocated strategically, and 2) outcomes are not influenced by the allocation of resources in one universal way. Different resources may have different influences on important electoral outcomes.
Keywords: Twitter, Politics, Content Analysis
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