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A Look at Facebook in '08 House Races

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 16 2009

Bentley University professors Christine Williams and Jeff Gulati have been tracking politics and technology through a series of reports, are out with a new working paper on the use of Facebook in '08 House races that may be of interest. Williams and Gulati examined more than 800 campaigns, and came away with a few conclusions. Fundraising ability is the indicator most closely tied to the number of Facebook supporters a campaign will attract. Campaigns are missing out on the opportunity to grow their supporter base through posting videos, but getting their fans to post content doesn't seem to help draw new supporters. In terms of raw numbers of Facebook fans, Democrats do better than Republicans and incumbents do better than challengers. And the most electable candidates have the biggest Facebook supporter bases (though, of course, we're talking correlation, not cause and effect). Get the context for those findings, and read other conclusions, here.