Moderate Democrats adopt Biden-era playbook: Twitter is not real life

Top line

Following a presidency defined by an explosive Twitter presence, moderate Democrats seeking higher office are taking a page from the hostile social media strategy that propelled President Joe Biden to the Democratic nomination in the hope of fending off more tech-savvy progressive enemies. .


The most recent example came on Friday with the campaign launch of US Senator Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) – he said in his first campaign announcement, “These are serious times, and we won’t win this race on Twitter.”

Although Lamb has approximately 150,000 subscribers on Twitter and 41,000 on Facebook, its audience is paltry compared to that of its main progressive rival, Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania John Fetterman, who has 410,000 subscribers on Twitter and 100,000 over Facebook.

Lamb’s comments echo those of Eric Adams, the moderate who won the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York in June, who said in his primary victory speech, “I don’t care what people tweet. I care about people I meet on the street.”

Adams, including 27,000 subscribers Twitter account was only recently verified, fought off several prominent enemies like former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and MSNBC collaborator Maya Wiley, who have 1.9 million and 453,000 Twitter followers respectively.

Adams nicknamed himself the “Brooklyn Biden, “and it’s an apt nickname through the prism of social media: Biden doesn’t write his own tweets, unlike his prolific predecessor, and some of his best collaborators don’t even have official Twitter accounts.

Biden’s lack of social media knowledge was a key contrast zone between him and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former President Donald Trump during the 2020 campaign, with Biden taunting Trump in September, “Get off Twitter, man.”

Crucial quote

“I think it’s safe to say that the president spends a lot less time obsessed with social media than the former president,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month when he was asked if Trump had sued Twitter, Facebook and Google to overturn his bans on their platforms.

Large number

484,000. This is the number of Twitter followers amassed by Nina Turner, a progressive superstar and former Ohio state lawmaker who lost a US House primary on Tuesday. The chairman of the Cuyahoga Democratic Party, Shontel Brown, a relatively moderate winner of this contest, comes from 27,000 subscribers and, unlike Turner, is unchecked – a reassuring sign for Lamb.

Surprising fact

One of the reasons contenders like Brown and Adams are able to win despite their low number of followers is that frequent Twitter users make up only a tiny fraction of the overall population. According to Pew Research data from 2019, which also revealed that Twitter users were more on the left politically than the entire U.S. electorate.

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