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

Lester Poole, 94, is one of more than 170 residents at Ocala Health and Rehabilitation Center. The center as been steadily losing volunteers over the past year.

Lack of Volunteers Leave Elderly Looking for Conversation

Lester Poole has stories he may never get to tell. The 94-year-old served in the United States Coast Guard from 1939 to 1947, during which he traveled the globe and went wherever the tide took him. “South Africa. Brazil,” he [...]


Participants partake in a “color throw” following the race -  everyone in the audience tossed their color packets into the air at once. The result was a cloud of color that rose above the crowd, growing larger after the next color throw was conducted.

Kaleidoscope Tour’s Color Run Comes To Gainesville

The Kaleidoscope Tour visited Gainesville on Saturday for the 2014 edition of the Color Run. Nicknamed “The Happiest 5K On The Planet,” the run drew hundreds of participants.


Marion County Loses Bid For Veterans Nursing Home

Florida’s seventh nursing home for military veterans will be built in western Port St. Lucie. Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve $17 million in funding for the 120-bed facility, which will cost an [...]


Twins Jada and Jaelyn Weems spend their birthday holding signs during the vigil. They live close to Ocala Place Apartments, where some of the shootings have occurred.

Ocala Community Members Unite at Prayer Vigil

Ocala religious leaders and the Ocala Police Department organized a community prayer vigil to promote an end to the recent violence in the community. Four drive-by-shootings have left three injured since early September.


Julia Minors had minor renovations, including a new paint job, done on her home Sept. 11. Minors was one of the Gainesville residents to receive free paint and low-cost renovations through the Partnership for Paint.

Gainesville Partnership Gives New Life to Old Homes

Gainesville’s Community Redevelopment Agency has partnered with Alachua Habitat for Humanity to create the Partnership for Paint program, which helps Gainesville residents update their homes through painting and repairs, for a reduced out-of-pocket fee.


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