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Tweeting to Power: The Social Media Revolution in American Politics, Jason Gainous and Kevin M. Wagner

Reviewed by Anthony Rotolo

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Since the 2008 presidential election, much attention has been paid to the role of social media in campaigns and the political process. The dramatic success of the Barack Obama campaign in mobilizing voters and raising donations reignited interest in the Internet as a platform for campaigning, and by the time the contests of 2010 and 2012 were under way, campaigns on both sides of the aisle were embracing a new approach defined largely by the emerging area of social media strategy.

In their new book, Tweeting to Power: The Social Media Revolution in American Politics, Jason Gainous and Kevin M. Wagner explore these online tactics and their impact on recent elections, revealing a blueprint of modern campaigns that will appeal to both researchers and political strategists. Using social media data collected from the 2010 U.S. congressional races, as well as survey data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the authors describe how social media represent a “shift” in the political landscape that is comparable to the establishment of print and television journalism and that continues the trend of increased polarization observed since the rise of cable news.

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