Local political organizations weigh in on social media influence on elections

Stark says social media is used more for  reminding people, especially the younger generation to vote rather than swaying who they vote for.
social media

JOPLIN, Mo. – Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook Instagram and Tik Tok, have allowed those running for office to more conveniently reach a larger audience this year.

President Trump tweets to his more than 87 million followers more than 20 times a day.

And Facebook has released posts reminding people to register to vote.

“Social media does overall influence people a lot because that’s where a lot of people see things for the first time” said Southwest Missouri Republican Field Director, Robert Stokes.

Locally social media has helped the Southwest Missouri Republicans and Democratic organizations with campaigning.

“It’s made things a lot easier for us to be able to reach people sometimes without spending a lot of money” added Stokes.

“We’ve always used social media heavily in campaigns I’d say since 2008 we’ve used it heavily” said Southwest Missouri Democrats, Executive Director, Krista Stark.

Allowing each side to voice their views and opinions to others.

“I would say on that there are a couple of issues that are playing very heavily on social media and where people may have been swayed- no on amendment 3 is the one where I say I’ve seen the most of social media convincing of folks” added Stark.

“I was explaining amendment 3 to somebody on Facebook the other day in a conversation and partway through the conversation they said you’ve changed my mind” said Stokes.

Stark says social media is used more for  reminding people, especially the younger generation to vote rather than swaying who they vote for.

“Zoomers are not a highly persuadable group, they already have their mind made up one way or the other just reminding them to vote would be the issue.”

For MSSU student Connor Henry, being exposed to multiple campaign ads did influence him in some ways.

“I was surprised by the amount of campaign ads on Instagram to where while it never changed my mind, it made me think about some topics in new ways”

And it has MSSU Senior, RJ Smith, wanting to vote.

“Instagram, Twitter, really anything has something about voting or register to vote here or something about the election so it’s kind of making me want to vote you know.”