2012 Election: And the Winner Is…the Internet

Tuesday’s national and statewide elections may or may not have gone your way. But they certainly went the way of the Internet. We got a taste of it in 2008 and 2010, but the 2012 elections certainly put the Internet and social media front and center. It’s clear today that they have changed how elections are reported, analyzed, followed, and discussed.

There were lots of great websites to follow the election throughout the campaigns and they are still providing interesting post-election insights and analysis.

CNN’s Election Center is filled with ongoing election-related news and interesting looks back at the campaigns.  Of note are detailed election demographics from exit polls and a look back at 21 defining moments from the campaigns.

Google offers another very interesting site for the 2012 election. There’s a compilation of all the latest news, an interactive election map for President, Senate, House, and Governors’ races that even lets you drill down on the results to the county level. The election site also features the YouTube Live 2012 Election channel and showcases interesting search trends related to the campaign.

Election Forecast map - FiveThirtyEight blog at NYTimes.com

The FiveThirtyEight blog, part of  the NYtimes.com Politics section, generated a lot of interest and traffic with Nate Silver’s in-depth statistical analysis and predictions (as of this writing he’s 49 for 49 in state-by-state predictions, with one race still not 100% confirmed). FiveThirtyEight does not yet have any post-election content but the Politics section is full of news, analysis, and opinion.

Social media sites, especially Twitter and Facebook, were central to the election this year.

Twitter’s @gov team tracked “creative and effective uses of Twitter for civic engagement” and the TWINDEX tracked tweets related to the candidates (and gave the candidates scores to rank their activity), plus issues, and hot topics. The Twitter Political Engagement Map showed state-by-state engagements with the candidates’ tweets throughout the campaign.

President Obama even announced his victory first to his 22.7 million Twitter followers  and 32.7 million Facebook fans before he made his televised speech. Reportedly, Obama’s tweet set a record for most retweets, and Election Day 2012 became the most tweeted about event in U.S. political history.

And speaking of Facebook…the U.S. Politics on Facebook page (with 246,000+ Likes) was an active campaign watching and discussing hub. The page posted just yesterday that there were 71.7 million election-related mentions across Facebook posts in the U.S. on election day alone. The election also received a 9.27 (out of 10), the highest score for buzz on the Facebook Talk Meter for U.S. users in 2012. The page is also featuring snapshots of the most meaningful Facebook posts from Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Leave us a comment and let us know how you used your Internet access to follow the election or promote your political views.