Social media playing larger role in elections

Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have strong followings on Twitter and Facebook.

A new study out of the University of California found that people who saw a message on Facebook encouraging them to vote were more likely to go to the polls during the 2010 U.S. congressional elections. Social media may also prove to be a big influence for the upcoming presidential election.

"I am on Twitter all the time," said Syracuse University student Deeanna Dimmick. "And I follow a lot of news organizations, and I follow the Republican candidates."

"I'm following Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on Twitter," said Paul Cambbell, another student at Syracuse University. "And it's nice because they can tweet out their platform to a large audience, and it's easy."

Social media may be what keeps a younger generation of voters engaged in politics.

"I think it does a lot to inform those who wouldn't normally go to CNN, or really any kind of news source besides a Twitter or Facebook," said Syracuse University student Andrew Feldman.

But not all young people are staying connected to the election through Facebook or Twitter. "I wouldn't say that I'm using it a lot," said Syracuse University student Lawrence Jackson. "I'm still kind of old school as far as politics. Like, I want to watch the RNC. I want to watch the DNC."

The presidential candidates do seem to have strong followings on social media sites. As of Thursday night, Barack Obama had 19.7 million followers on Twitter, and Mitt Romney had 1.1 million followers.