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Survey Released by the George Washington University and Market Research Firm ORI Highlights Social Media’s Impact on Presidential Election

As 2012 Presidential Inauguration Approaches, Key Survey Findings Released

January 17, 2013

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jill Sankey
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Julie Johnson
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) in conjunction with ORI, a market research and strategic business intelligence firm, presented key findings from their groundbreaking survey, “The 2012 Social Media Election Survey:  Key Lessons to Inform Decision-Making in Politics & Business” today at the National Press Club. The event explored social media’s significant impact on the 2012 presidential election and its implications for emerging political, business and civic opportunities in 2013.

“The election was just another example of how deeply social media has permeated all aspects of our lives, and underscores why it’s so vital for decision-makers to understand how these tools are influencing consumer behavior,” said David Rehr, an adjunct faculty member in  GSPM.

The non-partisan panel, featured Dr. Rehr, professor, GSPM; John Kagia, director, Strategy and Insight, ORI;; Nate Daschle, CEO, Ruckus; Jonathan Collegio, communications director, Crossroads GPS; and Matthew Gagnon, director of digital strategy, Republican Governors Association. The following information from the study was discussed:

• Overall, 29 percent said social media was moderately to extremely influential in their opinions of the candidates and issues.
• Nearly two-thirds (said the quality of information about the candidates and issues on social media was the same or better than that from traditional media.
• Approximately 40 percent participated in a political discussion with others in their social networks and 28 percent said they displayed their political affiliation on their networks.
  “Social media played a pivotal role in the 2012 election,” said Mr. Kagia. “This survey reveals social media’s central role in the national political discourse, and its power in informing and shaping public perceptions.”  

About ORI

ORI is a market research and strategic business intelligence firm headquartered in Herndon, Va. The company specializes in integrating research best practices with evolving technologies to help clients plan, grow, compete and succeed.

About GSPM

GW's Graduate School of Political Management, the pioneer school in the nonpartisan study of political management and applied politics, offers graduate programs in political management, legislative affairs, public relations and PAC management, as well as international programs in Latin America and Europe. The school educates students and professionals in the tools, principles and values of participatory democracy, preparing them for careers as ethical and effective advocates and leaders at the international, national and local levels.