Though Barack Obama led the social media charge during the last presidential election — aided by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, no less – a newly-released Pew study suggests that Republican voters and supporters of the “Tea Party” movement have caught up to Democrats in their use of social media.
Based on a sample of 2,257 adults, age 18 and older, Pew is estimating that 22% of adult users engaged with a political campaign last year using either Twitter or another, unspecified social networking site. Roughly 45 percent of those users voted for Republican congressional candidates, while 41% of them voted for Democratic candidates.
Surprisingly, just 1% of the respondents used Twitter to follow the election results as they were happening. Possibly, that’s because like me, they were too busy bursting into a neighbor’s garage to vote at the end of a workday.
Other interesting factoids to emerge from the survey:
11% of online adults discovered on a social networking site who their friends voted for in the November elections
9% of online adults received candidate or campaign information on social networking sites or Twitter
8% of online adults posted political content on Twitter or a social networking site
7% of online adults “friended” a candidate or political group on a social networking site, or followed them on Twitter
7% of online adults started or joined a political group on a social networking site
You can find the rest of the study here.
To find out which politican Hughes thinks is best harnessing the power of Facebook, check out our recent interview with him here.