Montana elections aren’t known for being won or lost because of social media; however, the increased role that social media will play in this election is already visible. As a politically motivated student, I have been following all of the statewide campaigns on Facebook. I’ve noticed that this year more than in the past, candidates are taking advantage of social media.
I have noticed that one candidate for governor seems to have a very strong online presence. Corey Stapleton, a former Naval Officer and Montana State Senator from Billings, seems to be winning the social media political battleground.
Following Corey’s Facebook page for several months now, I have been both surprised and excited by his ability to dominate the social media scene in a rural state like Montana. With more than 8,000 “likes” on his Facebook fan page, Corey is dominating his main Republican rival, Rick Hill, who has barely 700 “likes” on his fan page.
As a young person who follows politics mostly online, it is refreshing to see Corey post a discussion question about an issue in Montana on his Facebook page nearly every morning and have so many Montanans dive into the conversation online.
I think that in this election Montana will see a large online presence translate into a large group of new voters. I believe that this is especially true with my generation. If “likes” translate into votes, it appears to me that Corey Stapleton has a decisive advantage in this election, especially with young voters.