There is no doubt that the election cycle of 2008 started a new, national discussion about the power and usefulness of the Internet and specifically social media for elections and, more importantly, public engagement.
This discussion panicked a number of people who were convinced that the Obama electioneering machine known as “Obama for America” (now a project of the Democratic National Committee called Organizing for America) with its massive email list and its veritable army of Facebook fans and Twitter followers would be able to control the political agenda for the foreseeable future.
But that hasn’t been the case. Even Time magazine has noticed Obama’s army of fans and followers is disintegrating.
To make things even more interesting, Politico featured a story earlier this year titled “GOP outpaces Dems on Twitter” which detailed how eight of the 10 most-followed Twitter accounts held by members of the Congress belong to Republicans.
This made me wonder whether the same held true for pro-life members of Congress. For comparison purposes, I created a list only of current members of the House of Representatives who have either a 0% or 100% rating on the current NRLC Federal Legislative scorecard. I then looked them up on tweetcongress.org and looked at their websites to find their Twitter accounts.
I was not disappointed. As it turned out, 63% of pro-life congresspersons have a Twitter account, compared with 49% of their pro-abortion counterparts. Surprisingly, the pro-lifers have more than three times as many followers overall. On average, pro-life congresspersons had more than twice as many followers.
What good is any of this information? First, it tells us that the story of the unstoppable, pro-abortion Obama for America machine is more myth than epic. More importantly, it shows how powerful a tool social media have become for the pro-life message which has traditionally been ignored by mainstream media outlets.