As the election race continues to heat up, the SoGrow team have got all excited about something else. Unless you’ve lived under a social media rock, you’re probably aware by now that the new series of House of Cards has arrived. To give a brief summary of the series for those who haven’t watched it, the show follows protagonist Frank Underwood’s unique and shadowed path to the presidency.

The 10 word summary: This show displays what happens when POTUS and FUBAR merge.

(If you’re not an acronym expert, it’s maybe best to check over your shoulder before you click that…).



A key feature of this year’s real-world race has been the roles of social media and online communities. With Bernie Sanders raising over $40million in one month, politicians can’t avoid online channels anymore. Debates have consistently trended on Twitter, and offered candidates a chance to row back or fact-check after the event – giving candidates even more range with which to land a punch or deflect a blow. But with this in mind, we ask ourselves – if Frank Underwood had Twitter, what would it look like? And of our current contenders, where are their profiles strong, and where are they weak?


The Republicans

With such a divided field, and in the interest of not boring our readers to tears, we’ll take the three most likely candidates – Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.



Where he’s strong: 
Trump Twitter

Trump is always keen to speak his mind, and happy to put his own name to things. Whether you agree with his opinion or not is a different issue, but his constant attack stream makes it difficult for opponents to gain an advantage on social media. As soon as he has points scored against him on one issue, he’s able to find another to shift the focus. This is an art, and say what you will about Trump – he’s not stupid.


Where he’s weak:

Screenshot (120)


Trump is always keen to speak his mind, and happy to put his own name to things. But, writer, you said that was where he’s strong?! Exactly. The problem with being as active on so many positions as Trump is on Twitter, is that sooner or later it’ll always backfire. Whether it’s a spelling mistake, or whether it’s a block capital loaded press of the panic button, Trump can be his own worst enemy.



Where he’s strong:

Screenshot (121)

Cruz is fighting hard to support traditional areas of Republican voter pride, and given his performance in last night’s debate, it suggests he’s starting to build momentum. Whether this is enough, time will tell, but his inclusive rhetoric on Twitter is a marked difference from other candidates – and could position well in a fight against Clinton’s “Make America Whole Again” message.

Where he’s weak:

Screenshot (122)

Attacking the front-runner candidate is rarely a bad plan. What creates an issue, is when you have to spend so much time trying to bring them down that you neglect your own message. There’s a balance to maintain here, between tearing down a rival’s barricade (or wall…), and promoting your personal brand. We feel Mr Cruz has struggled with this, and needs to start pushing himself as a better alternative – hope often beats fear.



Where he’s strong:

Screenshot (124)

Rubio is the type of Republican that should play well with their younger voters, and has pushed his belief in millennials hard. Indeed, his newer approach to take on Trump with sophomore type jokes will serve to strengthen this position, and shows he’s prepared to fight in the trenches.

Where he’s weak:

Screenshot (125)

Rubio’s Twitter feed has become filled with nothing but anti-Trump messages. While this may help him towards the Republican nomination, it doesn’t help the early general election message. Rubio must be careful to ensure he’s known as more than “the guy who makes fun of Trump” – and essentially, start looking like a president, instead of a message candidate.


The Democrats

The fight goes on, within America continuing to “Feel The Bern” despite state losses. There’s still twists and turns in the road before the nomination, or according to some sources, coronation. So let’s have a look at where the pair stand;


Where she’s strong:

Screenshot (126)
Clinton’s campaign have an excellent understanding of visual media – and not only visual media, but how to be funny through it. Comedy might not win a presidency, but it makes her significantly more personable – helping her start to shed the Wall Street Hillary tag.  If keeping up the momentum on Twitter, she might start to win over some of Sanders grass-roots campaigners – and deliver the fatal blow.

Where she’s weak:

Screenshot (127)

An interesting message, given the articles about Goldman Sachs donations. Clinton has to work hard to be seen as more than a franchise candidate, or a safe pair of hands. In other words, she needs to inspire – and her Twitter content is on the whole humorous and easily shared, it doesn’t fit the media narrative. Something has to change, otherwise there’s an imbalance and the attacks over her lack of consistency will continue.



Where he’s strong:

Screenshot (128)

Bernie’s popularity with young voters, a demographic often turned off by politics, has defied expectations. The strength of a grass-roots campaign that has snowballed to the stage where he has a slim but real path to the nomination is remarkable. The way his campaign has run will allow him to last longer in the race than many would have expected, and his donors can afford to give again. The longer the campaign rolls on, the more the message will get out – but will it be interesting enough?


Where he’s weak: 

Screenshot (129)

As a grass-roots powered candidate, it’s disappointing to see that he takes no personal involvement with his Twitter campaign. While in some ways this may add to his charm, it does beg the question as to whether he’s ready for the younger voter, despite the younger voter clearly being ready for him.


And last but not least;

Screenshot (130)

Yeah. Let’s not even go here.


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