With the campaigns of each of the 2016 candidates in full-swing, the Twitter landscape has become the new town hall: a place for people from all backgrounds and ideologies to voice their political ideologies and be heard. President Barrack Obama won his elections in 2008 and 2012 with impressive social media campaigns that dwarfed those of his opponents, but in 2016 social media platforms like Twitter are experiencing activity like they never have before. According to a recent study, 41 percent of young people between the ages of 15 and 25 had participated in some kind of political discussion or activity online. These included sharing a video from a presidential candidate or tweeting about world events.
When people, especially young people, are heavily influenced by the opinions of their friends, it’s become even more important for candidates to reach influencers.
Below are tweets with varying opinions of candidate Donald Trump (curated with the hashtag #Trump) that are going to influence those who consume them. Positive tweets have a tendency to be more influential, but the negativity and poignant nature of some of these tweets will be just as hard to ignore.
#Trump lovers are next to me at the airport. I just asked them which detailed policy proposal of his they most admire. [Silence]. Anyone?
— cory michael smith (@mister_CMS) November 29, 2015
Women, Gays, Disabled, Blacks, Mexicans, Syrians, Muslims, Christians, Iowans..whats the common thread? #TRUMP has insulted them all!!!
— Michael Terry (@mterry337) November 29, 2015
— Juan (@jrivera64) November 28, 2015
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) November 26, 2015
— Street Art (@GoogleStreetArt) November 23, 2015
— Jillian Hurley (@BeautyBind) November 23, 2015
— Bassem Masri (@bassem_masri) November 22, 2015
OBAMA: "12 million displaced by conflict in Syria. As Americans, we can't sit idly by." But OK for 1 million Americans/Vets homeless? #Trump
— Family for Trump (@TheresaMechele) November 29, 2015
— Lil Trump (@USAneedsTRUMP) November 28, 2015
— TBI/PTSD/22+1❤️TRUMP (@BOSSYtxmar55) November 29, 2015
The election will be decided in part to the social media sphere. It’s wise for candidates to understand that early.