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The 2012 Presidential Race According to Social Media

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In 2008, the political world became aware of social media's power to turn Obama's online presence into real votes and a White House win. Now, as the field begins to take form for the 2012 race, potential candidates are scrambling to leverage online resources to win nominations and awareness. Column Five Media poured through the politicians to give us a glimpse at who's using social best and asked you to weigh in on which ones are actually being effective.

When it comes to politics, big numbers online don't mean that much. Aside from having to be real (Gingrich, ahem), your followers have to be active in promoting and engaging with your campaign in order to make a real difference. The work it takes to maintain your social following, coupled with the constant stream of new technologies and platforms, makes it difficult for many politicians to stay in touch and informed.

What do you think the most effective use of social media is for candidates?

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33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
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Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
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* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
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