If presidential campaigns are in part contests over which candidate masters changing communications technology, Barack Obama on the eve of the conventions holds a substantial lead over challenger Mitt Romney. A new buy twitter retweets study of how the campaigns are using digital tools to talk directly with voters-bypassing the filter of traditional media-finds that the Obama campaign posted nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign and was active on nearly twice as many platforms.  Obama’s digital content also engendered more response from the public-twice the number of shares, views and comments of his posts.Just as John McCain’s campaign did four years ago, Romney’s campaign has taken steps over the summer to close the digital gap-and now with the announcement of the Romney-Ryan ticket made via the Romney campaign app may take more. The Obama campaign, in turn, has tried to adapt by recently redesigning its website.These are among the findings of a detailed study of the websites of the two campaigns as well as their postings on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube-and the public reaction to that content-conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Rarely did either candidate reply to, comment on, or “retweet” something from a citizen-or anyone else outside the campaign. On Twitter, 3% of the 404 Obama campaign tweets studied during the June period were retweets buy youtube views of citizen posts. Romney’s campaign produced just a single retweet during these two weeks-repeating something from his son Josh.Even if someone starts on a campaign’s social network page, they often end up back on the main website-to donate money, to join a community, to volunteer or to read anything of length. A July redesign of the Obama page emphasized the centrality of the campaign website further. Rather than sending users to the campaign’s YouTube channel, the video link now embeds the campaign videos directly into the website, where the only videos are the ones Obama wants you to see.But Romney devoted nearly twice the attention as Obama to jobs. Obama’s attention to the economy was almost equally divided between jobs and broader economic policy issues such as the need to invest in the middle class and how the election presents a choice between two economic visions. Another striking finding in the topics of the digital conversation is how much the agenda has changed in just four years. Gone from four years ago are web pages focused on veterans, agriculture, ethics, Iraq and technology.
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