Social media key to 2024 presidential campaign

How social media and DeSantis may shape 2024 race
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:34 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 9:03 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Reviews are mixed about how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis chose to announce his presidential campaign on Twitter.

Thousands of people were in the Twitter Spaces conversation, which led to technical issues during the hour-long conversation.

You never saw DeSantis as he announced he is running for president because Twitter Spaces is an audio-only feature on the social media site.

“The pressure for political candidates has been to always try and make things more and personal. As they interact with their audience,” said Brett Doster, president of the political strategy group The Front Line Agency.

Even with technical issues, political strategist Brett Doster said going with an announcement on social media, instead of a rally like Tim Scott did on Monday, could actually help DeSantis.

“Not only do you have the outgoing message from the candidate, but you have the opportunity to interact,” Doster said.

DeSantis isn’t the only presidential candidate announcing their campaign on social media. President Joe Biden posted a video online a month ago announcing his bid for a second term.

Political scientist Susan MacManus said for 2024, social media will be big for every candidate.

“You’ve got to have a broader reach these days. One of the reasons these days is the growing number of people who are registering as no party affiliation or independents that are really candidate-centric as opposed to party-centric,” MacManus said.

MacManus said while social media is great for getting information out, she’s worried there will be more misinformation with artificial intelligence becoming easier to access.

“The problem right now, this is such a new technology, AI, right as we get into what is likely a massively contentious presidential election,” she said.

Doster said he expects to see more candidates have social media events and even debates on social media throughout the election.

“How many more times do they try to use Twitter spaces and other, Facebook lives, to do these town hall-type interactions?” Doster said.

DeSantis is the sixth Republican to announce a 2024 presidential run. Many polls have him in second place behind former President Donald Trump.

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