How Social Media Is Transforming The Game of Politics And Its Affect On The American Public
Mentor:Scott Spitzer, Associate Professor of Political Science, California State University Fullerton
The game of politics, and the means by which politicians engage in it to reach the average voter, is continually transforming. Technology has made things possible that the electorate of 1960, who witnessed the first televised presidential debate, would have thought unimaginable.
Now, in 2012, Americans are in the middle of a presidential election and the two campaigns underway are unlike any the public has ever seen. The main reason for this is the use of social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and the new ways media outlets are covering politics. The subject of this paper will focus mainly on the Twitter platform and the use of video or audio recordings in relation to the World Wide Web and the media.
The full effect of the Twitter medium is yet to be known but denying its relevance, in an increasingly shrinking world, would be perilous to politicians. This paper will look to primary and secondary sources covering multiple presidential administrations starting in 1960 and ending with the current election. A more in depth look at local politicians use of social media will be presented. The state of California will be focused on more intensely than its neighboring states. National politicians and the current tactics used by President Barack Obama and his opponent Gov. Mitt Romney will provide a wider context.
Newspaper articles, will be used to compare the communication dynamics of today’s political agendas to those in the past. A new look at how the morphing political game through social media is changing the views and mindsets of the American public and what they expect from their politicians will be presented. This research paper aims to assert the significant influence of social media on politics and will provide methods for politicians on how to best utilize the platforms.