Post March 3rd, my life hasn’t been the same. Maybe my inbox isn’t full of candidates’ emails. Maybe I’m not getting Facebook event invites at the same rate. Or maybe my Twitter feed isn’t filled with election talk.
I guess I missed the quick-hitting and breaking news nature of Twitter. So, I took a closer look at what the leading Democrats’ of the IL-5 race have been up to on Twitter post-March 3rd.
The answer is not much. And I’m surprised quite frankly.
Democratic nominee Mike Quigley had a slew of Tweets on March 4th (I chalk that up to election win high), three updates on March 5th and one update on March 8th. Quigley still has a general election to win! I understand that his Republican and Green Party opponents have a one in a million shot at upsetting him, but Quigley still needs to keep his 1,000+ plus Twitter followers engaged and motivated. If not, an even lower turnout in the general election will put Quigley at a disadvantage when everyone knows the Republican and Green strategies are about turning out voters to capitalize on voter apathy. Plus, Quigley should be the district’s next congressman and I think he should have practice Tweeting updates to followers who want to stay informed about what their elected official is doing and thinking.
I saw that Sara Feigenholtz has not posted any updates since the day after the primary election. She’s also got over 1,000 followers and even though I remember her having a Twitter profile as a state representative (seperate from her congressional Twitter profile), I did not see her revert back to that profile. That leaves a lot of people who supported her hanging with no outlet to stay connected. The election was an avenue leaving Feigenholtz with a higher profile for herself and she could continue that upward trending leadership role with additional communications via Twitter to constituents. Plus, given the rumors that she is interested in Quigley’s Cook County Board seat, it might be nice to get some popular support behind her from Twitter followers.
John Fritchey’s Twitter snooze is a similar story. No updates post March 3rd and no invitation to the 100 plus followers of his congressional campaign to join his other profile (as a state representative). After all, Fritchey’s congressional Twitter profile should be deleted at some point soon, but not before he invites those followers to his normal Twitter page.
A closer look at Fritchey’s regular profile shows that he protects his updates! For crying out loud, isn’t Twitter’s purpose to broadcast messages to anyone who will listen?!?! He should change that ASAP. I mean, in the age of Blago and Burris, people are expecting some transparency from their elected officials…especially if they’re on Twitter.
The biggest surprise though is Tom Geoghegan. I’m not sure that he is thinking he has a political future post March 3rd, but I think a lot of other people think he does. Geoghegan was arguably the candidate with the greatest national following, given his popularity with the netroots and mentions from major national publications and journalists. Yet, his Twitter profile also doesn’t have any updates post March 3rd. If Geoghegan was interested in running for office at some point in the future, it’s important that he pick up his Twitter game and start communicating. And if he has decided not to pursue political office again, well I think he has an obligation to let his public know that as well.
As I’ve said on this blog before, Twitter is not nearly as effective when thought of using it as part of a campaign than taking a long term view. That’s really what is needed for people to feel loyal and trusting of political leaders, and I would argue is necessary for long term support.