As we have recently discussed the power of social media in politics citing Obama’s recent successes in the political front, there’s another, lesser known, candidate out there gaining political success in a similar fashion. You may or may not have heard of him, but his constituents have. Read the article below obtained from Mashable about his popularity on social media, and how he used that to drive his success. Pay attention to what the article cites as a reasoning for the closing gap between himself and the other candidate leading up the election. Do you agree with that cited “concern?” Why or why not? Is the social media usage necessarily a good thing in this case?
Article courtesy of http://mashable.com/2013/10/16/cory-booker-elected-senate/
Cory Booker will soon have more constituents than Twitter followers.
The Democrat mayor of Newark, N.J., is headed to the U.S. Senate to represent nearly 9 million New Jersey residents after beating out Republican Steve Lonegan in a special election Wednesday. Despite gains by Lonegan in the polls leading up to the election, Booker is beating Lonegan 55% to 44%, with nearly all precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press. TheAP has projected that Booker will win the election.
Booker became a national figure well before being elected to the federal government largely because of his effective use of social media. With nearly 1.5 million followers, Booker is a sort of folk hero on Twitter — who posts about rescuing one of his Newark constituents from a burning apartment building and saving a freezing dog, among other things.
Daring rescues may seem like a walk in the park to Booker compared to the challenges he’ll face as a senator.
Daring rescues may seem like a walk in the park to Booker compared to the challenges he’ll face as a senator. In the wake of a weeks-long government shutdown caused by partisan politics, Congress’ approval rating has dropped to 11%, which is nearly an all-time low according to Gallup.
Staying true to his reputation as a social media enthusiast, Booker first announced his intention to explore a Senate bid in aYouTube video late last year. He won the Democratic primaryfor the special election on Aug. 13, posting more than 100 times to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram throughout the day. He and his team were prolific with their social media posts during Wednesday’s election too, focusing mainly on tweets and retweets but not completely avoiding other networks.
Booker did not respond to our requests for comment regarding his social media usage during this campaign.
Though he was heavily favorited in the race, Booker’s lead in the polls narrowed to 10% leading up to election day, according to a recent poll that showed Booker lost favor among independent voters who were hesitant about his “motives in seeking higher office.”
Booker will take over for Republican Jeffrey Chiesa, who Gov. Chris Christie appointed to temporarily to fill the seat once held by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who passed away on June 3. New Jersey hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since Clifford Case in 1972.