President Obama's campaign had the edge over the GOP on Twitter and other social media tools in 2008 but Republicans have now embraced Twitter warmly, the New York Times finds. House Republicans in particular are moving ahead of their Democratic rivals on Twitter, beating their counterparts by more than 2:1 both in terms of followers and tweets. House GOP staffers have formed rapid response teams to counter messages coming from the White House.
Analysts predict that as campaigns heat up, policy fights that use to take place through attack ads will be found on Twitter. "This is the first time that both parties have people on staff who are specifically focused on social media and willing to deploy and use it," says the founder of a think-tank which studies how technology is changing politics. "It won’t be tanks against the cavalry this time. Both sides have tanks, both sides have fighter jets and both sides may have nuclear bombs." Michelle Obama, meanwhile, took a while to arrive on Twitter: The first lady sent her first tweet last week. (Read more Election 2012 stories.)