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Republicans tweeted more than Democrats in 2010 elections: Study

Washington, Fri, 22 Jul 2011 ANI

Washington, July 22 (ANI): Republicans and Tea Party members used Twitter and other social media in better ways than the Democrats, a study has revealed.


According to a study conducted by the University Of Michigan, analyzing the Twitter activity of election winners can lead to good predictions.


Various social media tools, especially Twitter have become a key part of campaign strategies in recent years. In 2010, nearly a quarter of online adults used social networks including Twitter to engage with the election.


The study was carried out at University of Michigan's School of Information and the College of Engineering, after analyzing over 460,000 tweets by 687 candidates running for national House, Senate and gubernatorial seats.


"The conservative candidates, Republicans and Tea Party members definitely used Twitter more visibly and showed a more coherent set of messages and topics," Eytan Adar, assistant professor in the School of Information and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.


"They also followed each other much more closely. I think it is fair to say they were much more cohesive in a lot of ways and at the end of the day that makes for a stronger campaign," he added.


Conservatives, who made major gains in the 2010-midterm elections, tweeted about similar topics and conveyed a coherent message. The top terms in Republicans' posts were 'spending', 'bills', 'budget', 'Bush' and 'deficit'. The Republicans tweeted an average of 723 times during the study period.


With an average of 551 tweets during the study period, Democrats posted less frequently. Their tweets covered a wider range of topics. Top terms were 'education', 'jobs', 'oil_spill', 'clean_energy', 'Afghanistan,' and 'reform'.


Tea Party members retweeted one another more often, rebroadcasting a colleague's message an average of 82.6 times, compared with 52.3 retweets for Republicans and 40 for Democrats.


The study also examined how Twitter behaviors could help predict election winners. By looking at the content of candidates' tweets, the number of followers they had, and whether the candidate was an incumbent, they were able to predict election outcomes with 88 percent accuracy. (ANI)


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