Examining How Social Media Has Impacted Political Campaigns in the 21st Century

Open Access
Dessel, Andy Robert
Area of Honors:
Public Policy
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • John Rogers Haddad, Thesis Supervisor
  • Ronald Walker, Honors Advisor
  • Charles David Kupfer, Faculty Reader
  • Social Media
  • Political Campaigns
  • Government
This Honors Thesis explores the impact of social media on recent political campaigns in order to gauge the status of electoral culture in the early digital age. This topic is important because our democracy, like any other complex system, is adapting to the digital realities of the 21st century. The thesis explores how advancements in social media have shaped how candidates campaign for political office and how campaigns have changed in recent years because of social media. Historical analysis has helped to define what social media is in the 21st century and how its continued development will continue to impact political campaigns. The original research has shown that communication surrounding political campaigns has engaged and involved more citizens because of the two-way nature of new media and will likely continue in this direction with the growth of social media mobile technology.