Campaign 2010 Races to Watch: House Edition
October 19, 2010
As Election Day nears, candidates for elected office across the country are usingFacebook to communicate and engage authentically with voters as well as organizesupporters in ways unimaginable a decade ago. As you plan your daily political coverage,we hope you'll consider including our campaign watchers' snapshots of House, Senate,and Gubernatorial contenders that are making the most of Facebook.Over the next two weeks, we'll be serving up races to watch and Facebook data for theHouse (Tuesdays), Senate (Wednesdays) and Governorships (Thursdays).Race of the Day
o Facebook Fans Foreshadow Wins for Grayson and West in Florida?
If two House races in Florida are any indication, the use of Facebook as a key tool forsoliciting voter support is not limited to incumbents or challengers or Republicans orDemocrats. Two of the closest House Races in the state - Rep. Alan Grayson (D-8thDistrict) vs. Daniel Webster (R) and Rep. Ron Klein (D-22nd District) vs. Allen West (R) -tell two different social media tales.In one of the most contentious campaigns in the country, incumbent DemocraticCongressman Grayson is trailing Republican challenger Daniel Webster by 7 percentagepoints, according to a recent Susquehanna/Sunshine State News poll. Yet, the numberson Facebook show that Grayson has made social media a major aspect of his outreachcampaign as he has amassed more than 30,000 fans compared to just 4,517 forWebster.It has been quite apparent that Grayson is using Facebook to take on his opponentdirectly as more than half of the posts over the past two weeks highlighted the policiesof his opponent, including a post that discusses how a 1991 bill introduced by Websterwould have banned Happy Hours and drinking games in Florida.While Grayson is a prolific Facebook poster with more than three posts per day for thepast two weeks, Webster's campaign has been more reserved with only about one postper day with the focus on endorsements, campaign commercials and mediaappearances. Interestingly, Webster's posts make little or no reference to Grayson andWebster provides a detailed overview of his point of view on several top issues includingSpending and Debt, Jobs & Economy, Taxes and Health Care.But, don't make the conclusion from the Grayson-Webster race that Facebook is onlythe purview of incumbent Democrats. In the 22nd District in Boca Raton, Fla.,