After using Facebook and Twitter in recent months primarily to broadcast their messages and raise money, the Republican presidential candidates are increasingly turning to social media sites and other online tools to mobilize voters before the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday and in the other hotly contested early-nominating states.
During last year’s midterm elections, Republican candidates and voters caught up with Democrats in deploying social media. In studies released this year, the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project found that 40 percent of Republican online users turned to social media to get information and to become politically involved in a campaign during the midterm elections last year.
“These are tools that can be used to drive real-world action and encourage people to take action beyond posting news and talking to their friends,” said Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Center. “Our view is that social media allows a campaign to identify those rock-star supporters and get them to take action on their behalf.” Read More