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Full study available on the class blog, the Economics of Mass Media

STATA code is available here:

Twitter & Senators - 2015

Does a politician's social media presence contribute to their success in elections? 

This study examines the causal link between U.S. senatorial candidates’ use of Twitter and subsequent voteshare in the election results. Election results from the 2008 and 2010 Senatorial Races were used to compare the success of candidates who used Twitter as a campaign tool with those who did not. Controlling for other variables including incumbency, campaign finances, the candidate’s party affiliation and the state’s affiliation, my findings show that twitter had a positive effect on voteshare for Senatorial Candidates.

To conduct the study I pulled data from Twitter and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) database. I used STATA to perform my regression analysis. 

The results of the study show that senatorial candidates who used twitter as a campaign strategy did see an increase in voteshare of about 10%. However, when the campaign budget was introduced as a control, this association decreased. This could suggest that candidates’ with greater financial resources are more likely to explore new social media platforms and technologies as campaign tools. The correlation between twitter and voteshare could then be a representation of more savvy campaign strategy and wider resources.