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In recent years, House Republicans have emerged as the party’s most adventurous in the social media department, introducing programs such as “YouCut,” which allows supporters to identify which government programs to eliminate through a floor vote every week the House is in session.
Earlier this year, a study conducted by the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering found that Republican candidates and their tea party supporters used Twitter more effectively than their Democratic rivals in 2010. A Congressional Management Foundation survey of 260 Congressional staffers interviewed from October to December concluded that Democrats on Capitol Hill are starting to feel that they have fallen behind Republicans not only on Twitter, but in all forms of social media engagement.
At the same time, tea partyers have also embraced online forums set up by FreedomWorks, TheTeaParty.net and others, following in the footsteps of some of the early conservative bloggers.
“There seems to very good reception on the Republican side to want to do the same, if not more [than Democrats]” said Schigel, who started his new position late last month. “When you’re close to this stuff, you know that it changes very fast. Some of the things that you used two years ago are obsolete today.”