How US election night played out online
In the early hours of this morning President Barack Obama declared he had won a second term. On Twitter. “Four more years”, he Tweeted. As Editor Gordon Macmillan pointed out, this has become the most shared Tweet in history, and marks a watershed moment for the platform.
There was no reply of concession from Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney, whose final tweet of the campaign came five hours earlier:
With your help, we will turn our country around and get America back on the path to prosperity. Please vote today mi.tt/UtXKer
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) November 6, 2012
Early the team had been using the feed to inform people when polls closed in their area, and to urge people to stay in line so that they were eligible to vote, even after polls had closed, using the hashtag #stayinline. They used it as far more effective get out the vote tool than Romney, who continued with campaign attack messaging right until polls closed.
Mitt Romney did though use his Facebook page to thank his supporters:
That page ended the election with a total of 12,128,995 Likes. President Obama won the Facebok election too, with 32,551,206 Likes. Over on Twitter Obama ended with over 22,532,157 followers, while Romney had only 1,774,323. When it comes to social media it’s not always about quantity, but in national politics numbers really do matter
Obama’s final posting on Facebook was the same picture and message that declared victory on Twitter.
These last postings give a great snapshot into the digital election as a whole. It’s an indication that despite all the Republican’s progress, Obama still has digital at the heart of his campaign while it was more a necessity for Romney. The final picture from Obama is personal and engaging, while Romney’s is rather slick, professional, and dare I say it, cold.
Throughout the night people were tweeting and sharing results from across the networks as results started to come in. In some cases results were being updated fast on Twitter than on mainstream media news networks, an embarrassingly regular occurrence for those in news media nowadays. It was a staggering night for social media, a news event when Twitter came of age and broke records:
BREAKING: Tweets around #Election2012 just surpassed 11 million for the day.
— Twitter Government (@gov) November 7, 2012
However, not everyone was being as magnanimous as the candidates as the proceedings unfolded:
We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012
Can’t win them all!