WUFT News

Social media’s impact on the 2012 election, and on a local Florida race

By and on November 5th, 2012

This election season, social media exploded on the political scene and changed how candidates campaign and communicate with voters. Chuck Chestnut and Dean Cheshire, two Alachua County Commission candidates, have benefited from using Facebook in their campaigns.

Chestnut, who has been in politics for more than 10 years, said campaigning has evolved since the last presidential election.

“Folks are using social media now, in terms of Facebook, Twitter and all of that stuff,” Chestnut said. “[Social media use] has evolved greatly, and it has advanced.”

In a report on NPR’s “Weekend Edition”, Scott Simon said the number of tweets during presidential debates increased from 500,000 in 2008 to 7.2 million in 2012. The trend toward immediate conversation between people and candidates influenced Chestnut to jump into social media.

“Everything is highly technical now. If you want to be in politics, you have to begin to learn the highly technical stuff to be effective,” Chestnut said. “It’s a good tool to reach constituents.”

Chestnut said he initially feared sharing information through a public forum.

“I’ve always had a fear of Facebook, of folks posting stuff on there that’s not true about you,” he said. “By the time you get to correct it, the damage is already done.”

Cheshire said he immediately recognized the value of social media and created a Facebook page the day he filed to campaign.

“I think it’s got tremendous impact on the campaign,” he said. “It gives another venue to reach future voters, hopeful voters and people who are trying to learn.”

Cheshire said social media created opportunities to gather volunteers, create events and communicate the tone of his campaign.

“They see an opportunity to learn about a candidate without necessarily getting hands on in a campaign,” he said. “They see the positivity and the aspirational tone of our campaign, and they want to get involved because of that.”


This entry was posted in Local, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

BqcMUJ0CcAAuJrS

2 Shot at Apartment Complex, Police Find Suspect Dead

Update 8:30 p.m.: GPD has reported that Gerald Hall has been apprehended. Updates as they are available. Earlier: Update 10 a.m., June 19: GPD is now seeking another suspect in the shooting. Gerald Hall, 43, is wanted for questioning for [...]


For The Women Released After Arrest of CPA, Recovery Just Beginning

A well-known Alachua County accountant has been charged with three counts of human trafficking for keeping women in captivity, offering drugs in exchange for sex and house cleaning.


Group Expanding Investigation into GRU Fee Tax

Seniors vs. Crime is now looking into taxes on gas and water surcharges collected by Gainesville Regional Utilities. The group was previously only investigating a complaint about a tax on electric customer charges collected by GRU.


The fee controversy centers on whether the 10 percent municipality tax should be assessed on the electric customer charge. See the complete GRU bill breakdown.

City Responds to GRU Complaint on Fee Tax

The City Attorney and attorney representing Gainesville Regional Utilities have concluded the tax on the electric customer charge is justified.


The new Fisher House located at 5106 NW 8th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32605. Just across the street from the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center

New Fisher House will Provide Lodging to Veterans’ Families

The new Fisher House in Gainesville will allow families of veterans undergoing treatment at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center a place of comfort during treatment.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments