Graduation Date

5-2017

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Political Science and International Studies

Department or Program Chair

Alison Howard, M.A.

First Reader

Christian Dean, Ph.D.

Abstract

The advancement in social media technology has greatly improved how people from around the world can communicate with each other. This has been quite apparent during the 2016 presidential election year, as many people have taken to social media to find their news sources and share opinions. This paper examines the use of Facebook and Twitter by the Clinton and Trump campaigns to connect with voters. These two modes of communication have been used by the campaigns to advertise their campaign and take stances on a variety of issues. By using content analysis, data from the two campaigns’ social media profiles will be examined and categorized into its respective themes: mobilize voters, fundraise, take position on issues, encourage participation in the campaign process, attack the opponent, or promote themselves or their campaign. Campaigns have begun to understand how to reach out to voters and provide them with the information they deem necessary in order to get elected. It is crucial to understand how social media has impacted this past presidential campaign season and the election through the use of social media.

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