Social Essentials for the 2012 Presidential Election

The 2012 Presidential Election is fast approaching and voters are looking to stay updated on the candidates and the latest election news. Both candidates have released apps for mobile devices, but there are also a number of other tools to keep informed before Nov. 6.

For general coverage leading up to and during the election, CNN and Facebook joined forces to create Election Insights. The tool uses Facebook Insights to create a map that tracks conversations about the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates on Facebook. Information can be sorted by demographics, including age and gender, as well as by state, and time period.

Voters looking to be more active and to share their opinions beyond post on their Facebook wall or tweeting may enjoy the “I’m Voting” app. After pledging to vote, users can talk about important issues, see who shares similar ideas around the country and answer questions about their political leanings.

The Twitter Political Index shows the number of tweets discussing each candidate, features trends over time and offers insight on what has changed during the campaign for each candidate. A good Twitter handle to follow, @Gov will provide the latest information about the election and other politicians.

For insight on opinions across the country, Amazon’s heat map shows which political books people are purchasing to gauge how parts of the country may be leaning.

Of course, electoral maps themselves are available from a number of different publications, ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times.

As Election Day nears, voters can get involved and stay informed using these social and digital tools.