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I thought this was a very interesting aspect of the election How Social Media probably helped Obama and dozens of downticket candidates. It is an asperct of the campaign under-appreciated in the Main Stream Media. It looks like Facebook had a profound impact by boosting the youth vote.
The swirl of post-election analysis has begun to settle, and it's clear: Social media were pivotal in the presidential election of 2012.
Never have they played such a broad, deep role. And they're here to stay. The Romney camp did very well, to be sure - but the Obama camp confounded the smart money and largely, if not fully, repeated the social media-based ground game of 2008, to leave the Romney camp beaten, amazed, and dismayed.
Here's how it worked for Facebook users;
Election Day 2012 opened with something fresh on Facebook and Twitter: thousands of people, of all parties, declaring they had voted. Cara Rousseau, social media manager at Duke University, says this was especially effective with young voters: "Users logged on to Facebook Tuesday morning to see an 'I voted' box at the top of their news feed, showing poll locations and geographic and age demographics for their friends who voted." The social media site foursquare "had an 'I voted' badge that users could earn by using #ivoted when they checked in to their polling locations."
Obama's forces also had refitted the machine that hummed so musically in 2008. Two words: Big Data. The Obama network now had a database of more than 13 million people, themselves connected, by Web paths easy to trace, to family members, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and neighbors. The network noted what all these points of contacts did, what they liked, what TV they watched, what books, papers, and blogs they read. And they created appeals on all those levels, to all those people.