Twitter already has become an important electoral communication tool between candidates, parties and their specific constituencies. No serious candidate campaign ignores Twitter, while political party organizations utilize Twitter to communicate with partisans, reinforce supporters, and mobilize voters.
Whereas much scholarship to date has focused primarily on Twitter’s political usage in the United States, there still remain many questions about the political uses and effects of Twitter in a global context. Does Twitter affect how reporters interact with candidates or even with each other? Does Twitter increase voter participation? Who is tweeting about elections? Why do people use Twitter in electoral contexts? Which type of candidate is more likely to use Twitter and why? Do parties differ in their use of Twitter, and why? Does Twitter increase candidate-voter interaction? Is Twitter shaping elections in various system contexts, and if so how? What is the influence of system context on Twitter use by parties, candidates, reporters, and voters?
Eloquently combining theory and practice, established and rising scholars in the field of political communication have been brought together to provide an essential overview of the influence of Twitter on elections in a comparative perspective. Readers of this book will not only learn everything there is to know about this specific influence of Twitter, but more broadly how to approach the study of various online tools in general.
Table of Contents
Marion Just and Christina Holtz-Bacha
Part I: Election Journalism
1. Did Twitter Kill the Boys on the Bus? A Report from the Romney Campaign in 2012
2. Tweeting to the Press? Political Twitter Activity on Offline Media in the 2013 German Election Campaign
Christina Holtz-Bacha and Reimar Zeh
3. U.S. Political Journalists’ Use of Twitter: Lessons From 2012 and a Look Ahead
Logan Molyneux, Rachel R. Mourao, and Mark Coddington
4. Media Coverage of an Election Campaign on Twitter: The Case of Belgium in the EU Elections
Evelien D’heer and Pieter Verdegem
Part II: The Audience
5. Communication with Constituents in 140 Characters: How Members of Congress Used Twitter to Get Out the Vote in 2014
Heather K. Evans
6. South Korean Citizens’ Political Information Sharing on Twitter During the 2012 General Election
Jisue Lee, Hohyon Ryu, Lorri Mon, and Sung Jae Park
Part III: Parties, Candidates, and Campaigns
7. Message Repetition in Social Media: Presidential Candidate Twitter Feeds in the 2012 U.S. General Election
Kate Kenski and Bethany A. Conway
8. Campaigning on Twitter: The Use of Social Media in the 2014 European Elections in Italy
Sara Bentivegna and Rita Marchetti
9. Candidate Use of Twitter and the Intersection of Gender, Party, and Position in the Race: A Comparison of Competitive Male/Female Senate Races in 2012 and 2014
Marion R. Just, Ann N. Crigler, and Rose A. Owen
10. Who Gets to Say #Are You Better Off? Promoted Trends and Bashtagging in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election
11. Parties, Leaders, and Online Personalization: Twitter in Canadian Electoral Politics
Tamara A. Small
12. Social Media Coming of Age: Developing Patterns of Congressional Twitter Use, 2007-2014
David S. Lassen and Leticia Bode
13. From a Tweet to a Seat: Twitter, Media Visibility, and Electoral Support
Richard Davis is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Office of Civic Engagement at Brigham Young University, USA. His research concentrates on political communication, new media, and judicial communication.
Christina Holtz-Bacha is Professor of Communications at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany. Her research and instruction focus on political communication and strategic communication as well as German and European media policy.
Marion Just is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College, USA, and an associate of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Professor Just's current research projects concern political campaigns, psychological aspects of voting, patterns of news, politics on the internet, and media coverage of women leaders.
'This is a wide-ranging and stimulating collection of essays about how Twitter changes the context for news and journalism, campaigns for office, and citizens’own experiences of public life. The contributors employ a variety of methods to paint intriguing portraits of social media in politics around the world.' - Bruce Bimber, University of California, Santa Barbara -
'Twitter and Elections Around the World has put together a group of top-notch scholars to produce a timely, meaningful, and consequential collection of essays. This is the only book out there that explores the cross-national political implications of Twitter with such breadth and depth. It will guide researchers for years to come. – Jason Gainous, coauthor of Tweeting to Power