With the 2014 election approaching, the role of state party organizations will become increasingly important as the primary election season ends and the general election season begins. Most of the primary election season wraps up by June with the majority of states concluding their primaries.
In the 2012 election, the Obama campaign skillfully used social media to target key constituency groups, amplify its message and get out the vote. It was commonly acknowledged that a “geek gap” existed between a more tech savvy Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The Republican Party conducted a months’ long review of the 2012 election that resulted in a report entitled “The Growth and Opportunity Project”.
How have the parties across the country done at the state level socially in 2013? Does the “geek gap” still exist? Arc 3 looks at the top ten most social media savvy state party organizations. The list was compiled analyzing the Klout scores and number of Twitter and Facebook followers for all of the state party organizations for all 50 states.
1. Michigan Republican Party (Klout score 66) Led by Chairman Robert Schostak, the party has over the years been a leader in innovation and recently held its 30th Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference where insightful technology panels were held. The Michigan GOP is the most social media savvy state party in the country with over 8K followers on Twitter and 11K likes on Facebook.
2. Texas Democratic Party (Klout score 65) Led by Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, the party’s social media prowess was on display nationally with the ascendency of State Representative Wendy Davis’ filibuster into the national spotlight through the Twitter-verse. The Texas Democratic Party is at the social media forefront with over 14K followers on Twitter and 51K likes on Facebook.
3. Florida Democratic Party (Klout score 64) Led by Chairman Allison Tant, the Democratic party of Florida operates in a state that has long been on the national radar, especially since the 2000 Presidential election where the state decided the Presidency. With 24K likes on Facebook and over 17K followers on Twitter, the Florida Democratic Party shows that it is innovative in its use of social media.
4. Florida Republican Party (Klout Score 64) Led by Chairman Lenny Curry, the Florida Republican Party is tied with its competitor, the Florida Democratic Party, in the area of social media strength and innovation. The Florida GOP has over 15K followers on Twitter and 15K likes on Facebook and will need to utilize its social media strength in what is shaping up to be a competitive election year.
5. Georgia Democratic Party (Klout Score 61) Led by new Chairman DuBose Porter, the Georgia Democratic party has been wrought with internal controversy that led to the resignation of its most recent Chairman, Michael Berlon. Despite serious financial woes, the Democratic Party of Georgia has a strong social media presence with over 10K followers on Twitter and 12K likes on Facebook.
6. Virginia Democratic Party (Klout Score 61) Led by Party Chair Charniele Herring, the Virginia Democratic Party is coming off a successful election year in 2013 with the election of Democrats to Governor and Lt. Governor. With over 7K followers on Twitter and 10K likes on Facebook, the Virginia Democratic Party’s effective utilization of social media was a part of their victories in 2013.
7. California Republican Party (Klout Score 61) Led by Chairman Jim Brulte, the California Republican Party has a rich GOP tradition, but in recent modern times, California has been a blue state. With over 13K followers on Twitter and over 9K likes on Facebook, the California Republican Party has in place the channels to begin to get its message out and rebuild.
8. North Carolina Republican Party (Klout Score 61) Led by Chairman Claude Pope, the North Carolina GOP operates in a red state whose influx of new residents and changing demographics has resulted in some success for the Democrats at the state-wide level, though not consistently. The NC GOP has a strong social media presence with over 10K followers on Twitter and over 10K likes on Facebook.
9. Republican Party of Virginia (Klout Score 60) Led by Chairman Pat Mullins, the Republican Party of Virginia has faced challenges in recent elections. Once a reliably red state, Virginia has become a purple state. With over 5K followers on Twitter and 8K likes on Facebook, the Republican Party of Virginia is one of the most social media savvy state parties in the country despite its recent losses.
10. Missouri Republican Party (Klout Score 60) Led by Chairman Ed Martin, the Missouri Republican Party has the advantage of a state that has been growing Republican over the years. With over 5K Twitter followers and 5K Facebook likes, the Missouri GOP effectively and consistently publishes content that results in the ability to recruit volunteers, donors and supporters.
At the near the end of 2013, these are the top ten most social media savvy state party organizations in the U.S. The list reflects gains by Republican state party organizations that have strengthened their social media presence for what will be a very competitive upcoming election year. America remains an evenly split country as far as party identification. No one party dominates. However the state parties that leverage the power of social media for message amplification, get out the vote and targeting efforts can do much to move the needle in their respective state.