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Social media’s influence on the Presidential Campaign

By Alexis Lindsay

On Wednesday, we wrote about what sources voters use for news depending on their age. A majority of Generation X and Millennials get their news from Facebook. Candidates have taken note of the social media trend, and today, we are looking at how the candidates are using social media in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Twitter appears to be a favorite outlet for candidates to get quick messages out and to take jabs at their rivals. The various campaigns use Twitter very differently, which is evidenced by each candidate’s New Year’s Eve tweets. For instance, Rand Paul poked fun at himself by posting several memes which make fun of his curly hair. He then went on to take a couple jabs at Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump. Ted Cruz took a softer approach in his New Year’s tweet and wished everyone “all the best in 2016.” He also included a link to his website, which the campaign can use to track how much website traffic is being driven by his tweets. Not to be outdone, Donald Trump posted pictures of his family celebrating the holiday at Mar-a-lago, a club which he owns in Palm Beach, and thanked them for their support.

The 2016 presidential candidates all clearly see a value in using social media to spread their message, but we will have to wait and see which one did it the best.