Back to previous page


Hashtag guide for the 2012 election | @MentionMachine

By ,

We’re three weeks and change from the Iowa caucuses. How you’re going to talk about the election on Twitter? We’re compiling a glossary of hashtags for important election conversations.

Web chatter - especially real-time conversation on Twitter - is more important in this election cycle than ever before. The right hashtag is the single best way to make sure you’re a part of a bigger conversation.

We’re preparing a hashtag glossary for the PostPolitics team to reference while tweeting from the campaign trail. It’s a work in progress, and we want our readers’ help to create a definitive guide.

Are we missing a major tag below, or is there a more popular tag than the one we’ve listed for a given topic? Please tell us about it on Twitter using #2012hashtags.

<h3><a href=”http://twitter.com/share” class=”twitter-share-button” data-url=”http://wapo.st/v4xIrR” data-text=”Which hashtags should we watch as we cover the 2012 primaries? Use #2012hashtags” data-count=”none” data-via=”PostPolitics”>Tweet</a><script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”></script><a name=”Postpolitics”></a><span style=”padding-left:7px;”>Which hashtags should we watch as we cover the 2012 primaries? Tell us using #2012hashtags</psan></h3>

There isn’t a standout hashtag for the campaign overall, but #Election2012, #Campaign2012 and #2012 are all frequently used. According to the social media analytics site Topsy, #2012 is the most popular of those three - though it’s not clear how many tweets containing that tag are in reference to non-election news.

State-specific hashtags

#IAcaucus is the best and busiest tag to use in reference to the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus and all the campaign activity leading up to it. The Des Moines Register streams this hashtag alongside election coverage and it has been used 21,000 times in the past month, according to Topsy.

#FITN stands for first in the nation, as in New Hampshire’s first- in- the-nation primary (Jan. 10). It’s used in the same broad way #IACaucus is for conversation leading up to the primary, and has been used 11,000 times in the past month.

#SCGOP is the most prolific political hashtag we found for news about South Carolina’s first-in-the-south Republican primary on Jan.21. #SCTweets is popular for general news about the state - which will often be about the 2012 race between now and the primary.

Are there other states with defined, active hashtags?

Event hashtags

Most debates and conventions will have an event-specific hashtag that attendees and watchers can follow. You can follow this Saturday’s debate using the hashtag #IowaDebate.

#RNC2012 will be the official hashtag of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. in August.

Post Politics hashtags

We have several ongoing projects and conversations to which you can contribute photos, opinions or information.

#FactCheckThis:Our Fact Checker is soliciting help from readers to track campaign rhetoric and ads of dubious accuracy. If you hear or see quotes he should review, you can tweet them using #FactCheckThis.

#2012Unfiltered is how we are gathering pictures from our reporters as they fan out to cover the candidates. We invite our readers to participate, too, using the hashtag #2012Unfiltered in tweets and Instagrams of photos of candidates, political events and campaign material. We’ll use them in blog posts, galleries and on our Facebook page throughout the campaign. See all the #2012Unfiltered photos.

#ViewsFrom Washington is how we’re painting a picture of the political landscape throughout the country. Washington Post reporters will visit a few of the 70 towns and cities named “Washington” over the next year to gauge what voters are facing in different areas of the country heading into the election. We’re asking our twitter followers to tell us about the political climate in their areas using Twitter, Flickr or Instagram. Use the hashtag #viewsfrom and tag your zipcode (i.e. #20015). We’ll display them here.

Read more on PostPolitics.com

Follow @MentionMachine to track the conversation around the 2012 presidential candidates and social media’s impact on the election.

© The Washington Post Company