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California Primary Candidates Take to Twitter

by Jane Susskind, published

With just two days left until the California primary, candidates from across the state have been stepping up their game in order to finish some last minute campaigning. Yard signs, phone banking, walking precincts, and attending community events have always been the cornerstone to a successful campaign.

With two major political reforms shaping this year's primary, however, candidates might have to alter their campaign strategies. As noted by IVN's Chad Peace,

With Proposition 14 and nonpartisan redistricting now in effect, candidates in California must be responsive to all the voters in their district, not just the partisan majority.

Instead of merely appealing to a party base, candidates must now appeal to all voters in their district, including independents. So how are candidates adjusting their campaigns to appeal to a broader voting demographic? One thing we've noticed is an increase in social media.

While we expect social media giants like Barack Obama to launch weekly campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, it is less expected that our local elections be covered via Facebook and shared via Twitter. In a growing age of technology, digital strategies have become a must, and candidates from across the political spectrum are responding to the need for social media.

Since we've been tracking some of the California candidates on Twitter, we have come across some unique, creative, and even funny uses of social media in campaigning. Here are a few of our favorite tweets leading up to the June 5th primary:

Sid Voorakkara (D), running in California's 79th State Assembly District, incorporated congratulating this year's National Spelling Bee Champion into his Twitter campaign strategy, by spelling out his name:

Congratulations to @ScrippsBee National Spelling Bee Champion San Diego's own Snigdha Nandipati! V-O-O-R-A-K-K-A-R-A for ASSEMBLY! — Sid for Assembly (@Sid4Assembly) June 2, 2012

Looking through Independent Nathan Fletcher's tweets, who is running for Mayor in San Diego, it becomes clear that an integral component of his social media strategy is directly engaging with his followers. He re-tweets and responds to followers, incorporating his Twitter followers into his campaign.

Love itRT @RyanTrabuco: Helping @NathanFletcher today by wearing this awesome shirt! #VoteFletcher #Fletcher2012 twitter.com/RyanTrabuco/st… — Nathan Fletcher (@nathanfletcher) June 3, 2012

Known for his grasp of technology and social media, Rep. Darrel Issa (R), running in Congressional District 49,  has a very active Twitter account, with close to 42,000 followers. Because of his familiarity with the internet, Issa takes on a more informal tone in most of his tweets, and like Fletcher, re-tweets and responds to his followers on a regular basis.

So grab your coffee and join me on @FoxNews in five minutes on @WhiteHouse #energy rhetoric vs reality. #keystone #jobs — Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) June 1, 2012

Scott Peters (D), Congressional candidate in California's 52nd district, shares a photo of his family, inviting his followers into his life on a more personal level.

#CA52: meet my parents Harvey and Ruth Ann. They're here for my son's graduation and Election Day! twitter.com/ScottPetersSD/… — Scott Peters (@ScottPetersSD) June 1, 2012

Another candidate who has successfully shared photos using social media is Chad Condit (No Party Preference) from California's 10th Congressional District. Along with sharing photos of his family, supporters, and the campaign trail on his Facebook Page, Condit also uses Twitter to reach his base.

Have you seen our bench yet? What do you think? #condit4congress twitter.com/ChadCondit/sta… — Chad Condit (@ChadCondit) April 3, 2012

Have you seen your candidates effectively using social media? Share with us some of the best tweets you've seen this election season!

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