March 26th, 2010
08:53 AM ET
11 years ago

House social media gains in health care debate

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" House leaders saw an increase in followers on different social media platforms while discussing health care reform this past week."]Washington (CNN) – House leaders saw an increase in followers on different social media platforms while discussing health care reform this past week.

Republicans may have lost the vote on health care Sunday, but are claiming victory on the social media where @GOPleader, the Twitter account for the office of House Republican Leader John Boehner gained slightly over 2,510 followers since last Thursday.

"Throughout the health care debate, Democrats had a comprehensive plan to ignore the will of the American people – online and off," said Nick Schaper, Boehner's director of new media. "Republicans, on the other hand, are listening to our constituents, and social media tools like Twitter are helping us bring thousands a day into the conversation."

Schaper also pointed to Boehner's YouTube success. The leader's speech from the House floor on Sunday has received over 106,560 views on his YouTube channel. And a viral video which mashes up the popular "Yes We Can" election video to Boehner yelling "hell no you can't" from the Sunday speech has received over 165,980 views.

While Republicans are looking at how quickly their Twitter followers have increased over the past week, Democrats are focused on each tweet's impact. Stephanie Lundberg, a spokesperson for House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, mentions that their tweets have been read on cable television shows, such as CNN's Rick's List and MSNBC. "It's a way to have a conversation with members of the public," Lundberg said in an interview with CNN. "We have effectively utilized Twitter and Facebook to do rapid response during the health care debate including countering misinformation about the health reform bill."

House Democrats set up a "Health Reform Now" Twitter and Facebook account. While the Twitter account has not seen much notable follower growth, their Facebook account increased by 12,750 fans this week.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. republicans hate america

    2500 twitter followers? compared to the millions and millions that support the bill.

    March 26, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  2. Martin T J Hilger

    I am an Arizona Independent. I have been a John King supporter until now. John won by support during the presidential elections thru his statical reports. Now, on his program, he has obviously become a Republican. Yesterday, Mar. 25, John had on his program John McCain, an Arizonian politician who should have retired long ago, Carl Rove who should be charged with war crimes and know one else but Republicans. Where's his impartial appraisal of the news ?????

    March 26, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. David

    The same people that are against the US messing up when meddling in issues like Iraq and Afghanistan or tax cuts by the US Republican government, advocate this same type of meddling by the same government under Democrats in internal issues like health care (now it will be better, yeh yeh!)... or meddling with Israel's security.

    There are no differences between Republicans and Democrats, just different agendas and rhetorics! Real change is elusive and deceiving!

    March 26, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. shirley-atl

    For some reason now some Americans seem to be most impressed by our leaders who spew hatred and lies (i.e. boehner, mc cain, palin, coburn, limbaugh, beck, fox cable, etc) and incite their supporters to behave like rabid animals rather than honest, thoughtful, respectful citizens. I'm sorry to see our country in 2010 deteriorate to this level, and may God have mercy on us all.

    March 26, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |

    I want Leader Boehner's resignation for inciting hatred.

    March 26, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  6. Paul R

    I don't know if the youtube mash up of No you can't can be considered a tool for either side. I think it makes people think more than anything else. I saw it more as an ad for Dems than for the GOP. It made me think that they are just fighting for the sake of fighting.

    March 26, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  7. j russ

    strange that all those who are so worried about a womans "choice" have no problem forcing me to buy health insurance.............why don't I have a choice?

    March 26, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  8. Michael

    "Republicans are listening to our constituants". Sure, now they say they are listening to the people. Where was this for 8 years of the worst president in our history, George Bush (a less than 30% approval rating when he left office). The American people were screaming for him to change and the republican Dittoheads simply chose to ignore the will of the people. The are flat out liars.

    March 26, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. emma zinkiewicz

    You lost and need to moved on.....

    March 26, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. ART

    Boehner must be really upset about the new taxes for using sun tan beds, what's he gonna do?

    March 26, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. Jin

    Perhaps the gains are from people who marvel at social comedy.

    March 26, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. ran

    NO. The fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans are the ones who are not listening to the people.

    And I doubt they will listen even after they lose big time in 2010 which they will.

    All the Republicans/tea party/blue dogs did was to show that we need to replace them all with either a true Democrat or Independent.

    Our elected officials need to do for the people.

    March 26, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. JIM El Paso TX

    I'd like to know how these fool Republicans can claim they know what the "will of the American people" is..????? They don't know what the hell they want themselves. Always downplaying the President in the name of the American people. Here's a clue...not everybody is interested in your NEGATIVE opinions an rantings!

    March 26, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Barricades of fear block the mind

    The Discovery Channel better re-think their endorsment and promotion of Palin considering her tendency to promote violence through her website. Our family has already decided to boycott it as well as any advertisers that support it.

    March 26, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. jon

    Finally – The Republicans get a taste of living in a country where their government behaves counter to their wishes – Now they know how I felt many times since we invaded Viet Nam in 1965. There have been 1,000s of times when I wished my government would change after doing some horrendous thing – wars, refusing fair and just treatment of those less fortunate. Many times I protested and wished for change. Even the ultra liberal amongst my acquaintances are less vile than the 'main-stream' Tea Baggers and racists we have seen on TV lately. It's about time the shoe is on the other foot. They don't wear it well.

    March 26, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. j

    When people realize that there is NO government takeover of health care – no public option – and that all the scary things the Republicans said would happen don't happen, the new following will trickle out.

    March 26, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. The Unsub

    You may want to check out how many followers the Dems. claimed after the bill was passed.

    March 26, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. American Patriot - a true "tea partier"

    Say what??

    The Republicans have NEVER listened to the will of the people. Didn't the Patriot Act and Haliburton and two illegal wars prove that to you? The Democrats are trying to make our lives better. They've kept us from a full scale Depression. They've just given a lot of us hope where none was before that we can pay medical bills without losing our homes or going into debt for the rest of our lives.

    The Republicans keep lying through their teeth, and there are those who actually believe them. I wonder if these folks would be interested in this bridge in New York that just might be for sale...

    March 26, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. Margaret

    This is not a GOP issue it is the use of social media to support HC bill.
    Most Republican Twitter accounts did not even open until less then two weeks ago..
    As a supporter of HC I contacted GOP regularly to dispute their lies with fact finding truth. I also sent the Democrats the reason to support or continue to support HC reform.
    Because The House and Senate are so new to new media they do not realize the extent or ability their statements can be read, processed, fact checked and rebutted.
    Republicans used same talking points so I answered every GOP member to rebuttal

    March 26, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. JA/TN

    Where are the christian values and patriotism, of the oppositon party, well i reckon the same place during the terrorism of Indian and Black Americans, earlier in this country's history

    March 26, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. dan smith

    Why isn't Obama and Co. In jail for trampling all over the Constitution?

    March 26, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. dan smith

    Democrats are just like the Taliban-do what we say or else.

    March 26, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. Sheena

    Cnn post the Truth for once....
    This health care reform is not really about getting health care for all americans, its about taxing all americans and breaking this country.
    Its about inciting violence and dividing this country.
    Things will get much worse before it gets better, and I hope no one really gets hurt.
    Sending all the jobs created by this health reform to India, that is sure creating jobs for Americans....
    Americans better wake up before its too late, this president is running a rush and bunch, worth of demoralizing and destroying this country.

    March 26, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |