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Controlling the MessageNew Media in American Political Campaigns$
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Victoria A. "Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479886357

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479886357.001.0001

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Surrogates or Competitors?

Surrogates or Competitors?

Social Media Use by Independent Political Actors

(p.53) 3 Surrogates or Competitors?
Controlling the Message

Julia R. Azari

Benjamin A. Stewart

NYU Press

This chapter examines social media usage by independent political actors, focusing on the use of Twitter to issue election narratives—messages about the meaning and significance of the election. Drawing on a comparison of campaign and independent groups' use of Twitter during the 2012 presidential election campaign pitting Barack Obama against Mitt Romney, the chapter considers whether independent political sources use social media to perform a campaign surrogacy role or whether they act as campaign competitors that challenge the official campaign message. It shows that independent organizations as a whole tend not to focus on a campaign surrogacy role, whereas conservative organizations are more willing to act as competitors to the election campaigns.

Keywords:   social media, Twitter, election narratives, presidential election, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, campaign surrogacy, independent organizations, conservative organizations, election campaigns

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