Twitter Use by Presidential Primary Candidates During the 2012 Campaign

Bethany Anne Conway, Kate Kenski, Di Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


This study examines Twitter use by presidential candidates during the 2012 primary election. The Twitter feeds and activity levels of candidates from the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and Americans Elect parties and their campaigns were gathered over a 3-month span. Variables examined include the number of tweets posted, followers gained, and followers added as well as the occurrence of hashtags, user mentions, hyperlinks, and content categories within tweets. Results showed candidates' presence on Twitter was not uniform. Tweet frequency did not necessarily result in followers gained. Interestingly, the candidates who tweeted the most were not major party nominees. As the Republican primary campaign progressed, the amount of daily tweeting by the candidates was not higher than it had been earlier in the primary season.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1596-1610
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Twitter
  • presidential candidate
  • presidential primary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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