Elections 2010 |

Did Facebook and Twitter help savvy candidates win?

Wired has an interesting article up noting the trend between Facebook and Twitter followers of candidates: those with more friends and/or followers usually won their race. Here's the pertinent information:

"The gubernatorial candidate with the most Twitter followers won Tuesday’s election in 22 of 34 declared races across the country, according to a Wired.com analysis.

Jerry Brown is hollering at his boys (and girls) that followed his Tweets to victory.

The results showed 65 percent of the candidates with a bigger Twitter following won the chief executive’s post in their respective states. Three of the 37 races — in Minnesota, Illinois and Connecticut — were still too close to call Wednesday night and have not been counted in the analysis.

When it comes to Facebook, 20 of the 34 gubernatorial candidates with the most fans, or likes, won the chief-executive spot, according to our review of the data. That’s about 59 percent."

Before you jump to the horrifying conclusion that the Internet is now choosing our elected officials, there's a lot of other factors to consider - like how popular these candidates were with their consituency in the first place (especially if they were incumbents), essentially a foundational fanbase that wouldn't need to be converted. Wired agrees: "It goes without saying that many other factors affect the outcome, including incumbency, money and personality — not to mention ideology."

But reaching out to a constituency via the Internet is easy and trendy: good things to be if you want to convince voters you're on the "cutting edge" and are "a new breed" or whatever silly cliche you want to adopt for your innovative maverick baseball bat-wielding stance.

Money quote: "And if there is any lesson to be learned from the data for future elections, Twitter and Facebook are just as important in marketing politicians as they are for household products and personalities."