Our network

Campaign 2014: Social media's role in election results | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Campaign 2014: Social media's role in election results
Campaign 2014: Social media's role in election results

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Social media played a huge role in this election, even as the results began rolling in.

Both the state Democrat and Republican parties say social media is a vital tool in reaching out and connecting with voters, and they both continued to use it to thank supporters after the results came in.

From the most watched race for the U.S. Senate, the winner Tom Cotton tweeted, "We did it. Your support through this race has been truly incredible, and we couldn't have done it without you."

Whereas the incumbent candidate, Mark Pryor, lost his seat. He tweeted, "Humbled by the outpouring support throughout this hard-fought race. Thank you, Arkansas."

From the winner of the Governor's race, Republican nominee Asa Hutchinson, he tweeted, "Thank you Arkansas. We did it."

The Democratic opponent, Mike Ross tweeted, "Holly and I will be forever grateful for the support we received across Arkansas. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. #TeamRoss"

Polls closed on Tuesday night at 7:30, but if you were tracking social media you probably noticed result projections were starting to come down just minutes after the polls closed.

If you're wondering where these projection numbers were coming from, it was from exit polls.

These are results collected in-person as voters are exiting their polling stations. What's important to know about exit poll numbers is that they come with a margin of error. They are not exact, but they show a strong estimate.

Since these exit poll numbers were released so quickly after 7:30, social media saw races being called early.

The news outlet, Mashable, called the Arkansas senate race at 7:33 on Tuesday night. They declared Tom Cotton the winner 3 minutes after the polls closed. Incumbent Mark Pryor didn't even officially concede to Tom Cotton until approximately 8:45 p.m., over an hour later.

Social media helps get information out, but in situations like these, during contested mid-term elections, social media can push out information before it's confirmed.

Related Stories:

Campaign 2014: Social media making a difference at the ballot box

Campaign 2014: Voters make record turnout for midterm elections

AP: Key findings from preliminary exit poll results in Arkansas