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Obama more adept at using social media

At exactly 7am, the app flashed Mitt Romney's VP pick directly to supporters, as promised, an hour before a news release and two hours before Romney's announcement. But the app has been quiet since. Yashwant Raj reports.

world Updated: Aug 16, 2012 00:46 IST
Yashwant Raj

At exactly 7am, the app flashed Mitt Romney's VP pick directly to supporters, as promised, an hour before a news release and two hours before Romney's announcement. But the app has been quiet since.

The Romney campaign has been found less adept at using social media and the web compared to the Obama juggernaut, says a PEW research study released Wednesday.

"The Obama campaign posted nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign and was active on nearly twice as many platforms," the study said.

The use of changing communication technology has always played a critical role in US elections - Franklin Roosevelt hit it big with Radio and John F Kennedy with TV.

Obama's use of the social media and the web in 2008 is often cited as a leading factor in his election, helping his campaign tap "insurgent voters": largely young and apathetic.

The lessons learnt then were put to an early use by his campaign team. Romney has plenty of catching up to do, showed the study of the campaigns over a 14-day period in June.

The Obama campaign has a massive lead in direct messaging across social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, website blog): 614 posts to 168 by the Romney campaign.

The president's team was particularly outstanding on Twitter, 29 a day to Romney's one. President Obama tweets as @BarackObama and Candidate Obama as @Obama2012.

The campaign has added a third avatar TruthTeam2012, which, it says, tweets about false claims by Republicans and sets the record straight on the president's achievements.

Romney remains an indifferent tweeter. His last, at the time of writing of this report, came 19 hours ago, attacking the president for cutting Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

Both campaigns posted most messages about the economy or jobs, but voters' interest reflected in re-tweets, shares or likes was more in immigration, women, health care and veterans.