What Role is Twitter Playing in the 2012 Election?

Twitter Vote

Image from: Political Twitter / Social Media Frontiers

The impact and prevalence of Twitter in regards to the 2012 Presidential race has received a lot of press since the first debate between President Obama and Governor Romney.  According to Twitter, last week’s debate led to a record-setting 10 million Tweets to become the single most tweeted event in U.S. political history.

As the race enters its last month and raises interest and communications to fever pitch, Compete looked into the role that Twitter is playing in the election.  Compete used its U.S.-based panel to understand how Twitter users were being exposed to and reacting to political Tweets.

Overall we found that the average Twitter user is 1.7X more likely to visit a political site than the average internet user. Additionally, if a Twitter user is exposed to a political tweet, they are 2.8X more likely to visit a political site than the average internet user.

Likelihood To Reach Political Website


But the impact didn’t end with simply visiting political websites.  Those Twitter users who saw a Tweet or Retweet from a political handle also showed higher propensity to reach donation pages on candidate or party websites.  The research showed that the average Twitter user reaches donation pages at an 11% greater rate than the average internet user.  Meanwhile those Twitter users who did see political tweets reach donations pages at 50% higher rate than the average internet users.

Overall these findings point to the growing impact that Twitter has as a political communications channel as well as how its users are more politically active and ready to donate to their causes.

Please visit Twitter’s blog to read more about this research and associated findings.