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Pew Study: Midterm Elections Are More Social Than Ever

Voters are more active on social media than they were in previous midterm elections.

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Midterm elections are increasing in popularity — at least that’s the case on social media.

A new study from the Pew Research Center found that more than twice as many registered voters are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to follow politicians and campaigns for the 2014 midterm elections than the 2010 midterms.

Roughly 16 percent of registered voters follow candidates, political parties or elected officials on social media sites, according to Pew, up from only 6 percent in 2010. According to Pew, the top three reasons people are following politicians: To get news quickly, create “personal connections” with candidates and receive “more reliable” information than what the general media organizations provide.

It’s a substantial increase and the reason that most politicians running for office have a social media account, but 16 percent is still relatively small compared to the social media involvement in presidential campaigns, which consistently drive higher voter turnout than midterm elections.

https://twitter.com/GavinNewsom/status/528699808387563521

During the past presidential election, for example, 22 percent of registered voters actually shared which candidate they were voting for on their social media profile, a much stronger signal that the user is interested in the elections than simply following a politician.

Both Facebook and Twitter care a great deal about how their platforms are used by both candidates and voters during elections. Facebook created a midterm elections dashboard last month to highlight candidate Pages and issues. Twitter unveiled a similar election page last week, breaking down the demographics of those tweeting about politics as well as the top issues being discussed.

https://twitter.com/neelkashkari/status/529039252172980224

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.