Citizen engagement in the 2016 Democratic Primaries

I just finished an analysis of how Clinton and Sanders used social media to engage supporters for the Illuminating 2016 project. The article was published by the Columbia Journalism Review (and can be accessed here).

To summarize some of our findings, it may come as a surprise that Sanders and Clinton are not using social media to urge supporters to donate money. That’s even more counterintuitive in Bernie’s case since he was running an insurgent campaign and was backed by a strong grassroots movement.

Besides funding, Clinton and Sanders employ very different strategies when using “calls to action” – messages aimed at engaging supporters in digital and traditional ways. While the Vermont Senator was investing his efforts in getting out the vote and inviting supporters to join “the movement”, Clinton employs different strategies with greater focus on digital engagement – watch speeches and rallies online, share personal stories, join Q&A’s and roundtables and so forth.

Read the full article at CJR.