New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Republican challenger, Rep. Lee Zeldin, has lagged in polls and fundraising – but he has a growing lead on Twitter to lean on ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
The Long Island congressman’s personal profile on the social media platform showed his as of Friday at 75,608, compared to 74,803 for Hochul, which is using a huge campaign war chest to spread its message through cyberspace.
“While Kathy Hochul focuses on dodging New Yorkers and the media, Congresswoman Zeldin is using whatever means necessary to reach as many New Yorkers as possible,” said Zeldin campaign spokeswoman Katie Vincentz, alluding to the ongoing disagreements between the two campaigns over the scheduling of debates.
Only 5% of their respective Twitter followers overlap, according to analysis by online political data start-up Legislate for The Post.
Zeldin also has a larger following on Instagram and Facebook, while both contestants seem to keep TikTok relatively small.
“It’s useful when there’s higher turnout with younger voters,” political adviser Bradley Tusk told The Post of the value of a solid social media position in the Twittersphere.
“Twitter is useful for reaching grassroots and reporters, but not new voters. TikTok can reach new voters, but they probably won’t vote in this election, and TikTok has a lot of political controls that make it difficult to use for that purpose,” added Tusk, who worked on Twitter superstar Andrew’s 2021 mayoral campaign Yang worked.
Larger audiences on such social media platforms could help Zeldin reach voters without having to match Hochul dollar for dollar on the ether.
Yang is hardly the only Pole who has struggled to turn a major online presence into an election victory, with candidates as ideologically disparate as left-wing actress Cynthia Nixon, a 2018 Democratic primary for governor, and right-wing Rep. Matt Gaetz, the high profile Elections lost despite their social media skills.
“Jumane [Williams] also had a large following on social media and then plummeted,” political adviser Hank Sheinkopf said in a text about Hochul’s main 2018 contender for the Democratic lieutenant governor nomination.
Hochul — whose official government following is dwarfed by Zeldins — makes up for her relatively small audience with paid advertising, with records showing her campaign spends thousands of dollars on Facebook ads, along with more than 300 ads running through Snapchat target voters.
A spokesperson for her campaign did not immediately respond to comment.
“Against $20 million in total media: not much. Zeldin will forever be remembered as the guy – what’s his name – who said ‘debate’?” Sheinkopf said of the value of much more campaign money for Hochul compared to Zeldin’s larger audience.
“I’ve thought about it,” Sheinkopf added.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/23/lee-zeldin-has-a-social-media-edge-over-kathy-hochul/ Lee Zeldin has a social media edge over Kathy Hochul