How Social Media Is Changing the Way Politicians Gather Information A new generation of pollsters is taking advantage of social media to analyze and aggregate public opinion of candidates.
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In an open-plan office in Durham, N.C., that feels part ad agency and part rec room, a 31-year-old EvoApp executive named Pritam Das sits rummaging through all the Twitter posts that have mentioned Mitt Romney in the previous 24 hours, sifting and sorting by various keywords and metrics.
The day before, a senior Romney advisor had likened the campaign's transition from the primary fight to the general election to shaking an Etch A Sketch. With the stroke of a key, Das reveals that of the tweets mentioning Romney, the word "Etch" ranked third among tags, behind only the candidate's first and last name. More tellingly, perhaps, Das was able to gauge that many of those judging the impact on Romney's campaign most harshly had the greatest influence in the Twittersphere--not just the most followers, but followers who in turn have influence of their own.