First 'Twitter election' brings high returns

Thousands of tweets on 'presidential politics' posted every day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's estimated that one in every six Americans are on the social media site Twitter.

While that may not be a statistically sound sample of the American electorate, Twitter is nevertheless jumping into the game of presidential politics.

Searching those two words on Twitter will return thousands of tweets about it. That's an astounding figure, says Twitter senior manager Adam Sharpe.

"To put it into perspective, there are more tweets every two days today than had ever been sent prior to the 2008 election," Sharpe said.

In fact, the total number of tweets sent in the 2008 election are equal to just just six minutes worth of tweets in this year's presidential race.

Sharpe calls it the first "Twitter election" and feels Twitter connects constituents to candidates in a somewhat old fashioned way.

"We routinely talk about Twitter as a new technology, but really it's a more traditional form of politics when you actually knew your congressman and met your senator and were able to reach out and talk to them in real time," Sharpe said.

Many candidates do post to Twitter, although how many do it themselves, and how many have an aide do it for them? There's no way to know.

If you're not on Twitter, should you be?

"Instant access to the events and people you care about," Sharpe said on what he would tell someone who hasn't joined the site yet.

Sharpe says people post 400 million tweets a day.

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