A Pew survey released just a few days ago showed only 4 percent of Americans are getting their campaign news from Twitter. And yet the Romney and Obama campaigns are apparently obsessing over what reporters are tweeting.
Politics reporter Jason Horowitz writes in the Washington Post:
[Senior Romney campaign strategist Stuart] Stevens spent a good portion of the final debate — and the entire campaign, for that matter — sending e-mails expressing pleasure or displeasure with what reporters tweeted. Reporters — some of whom have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers — said it was clear that both camps assigned staff members to monitor and flag their tweets.. ...
The Romney and Obama campaigns acknowledged keeping a close eye on Twitter because, as inside baseball as it may seem to the uninitiated, it had the power to shape the thinking that made it to the front page of the New York Times or the evening news, which then trickled down to local swing-state media that could sway voters.
“If there seems to be a Twitter consensus — and when I say consensus, I mean two or three people have an evaluation of a speech — it can drive things,” said a senior Obama adviser. “But you find that in the day-to-day coverage, it’s hard to figure out who is the one person. There just seems to be a movement in a direction.”