John Fetterman’s Senate Campaign Has Officially Joined TikTok

The campaign to troll Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman’s defeat to Republican rival Dr Mehmet Oz has dominated Facebook and Twitter over the past few weeks. But on Thursday, the campaign announced it was launching an official TikTok account to expand the reach of its already viral videos.

The campaign formally launched the TikTok account with a video of Fetterman wearing his signature black hoodie and speaking directly to the camera. In the short video, Fetterman makes an expected jab at Oz and disputes the celebration over the authenticity of the Trump-backed candidate’s Pennsylvania roots.

“I am on TikTok right now. Woo hoo!” says Fetterman at the end of the video.

The campaign’s decision to join TikTok comes on the heels of a series of viral social media videos attacking Oz. Earlier in the week. Twitter users dug up an old video of Oz shopping at Radner’s grocery store in Pennsylvania. While the video was intended to criticize the rise in inflation under the Biden administration, Oz was criticized for his use of the word “crudit” by Twitter users and the Fetterman campaign, and for clearly confusing the names of two state supermarkets, Radner and Wegman. was made fun of. , in “Vegners”.

Responding to the video, Fetterman said, “In PA we call it … the veggie tray.”

The Fetterman campaign announced Tuesday that it had raised more than $500,000, just a day after Oz’s crudité gaffe went viral.

TikTok started gaining traction in the US in 2018, and it wasn’t until the 2020 cycle that politicians and their campaign arms started creating accounts and investing in the platform. This year, more politicians are active on TikTok than ever before, but Democrats and left-wing candidates are the fastest adaptors.

“Since the inception of this campaign, we will continue to meet voters, wherever they are and it will be a lot of fun doing it,” Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello said in a statement. ledge on Thursday.

Pennsylvania is a must-see seat for Democrats hoping to secure a Senate majority after the midterm elections. In 2020, President Joe Biden won the state by a little over 1 percent, effectively marking the cycle as a toss-up. A few months before the November elections, the youth vote in Pennsylvania may be more necessary than ever if Democrats plan to win the state. A recent study by Tufts University in Massachusetts found that Pennsylvania is one of only a handful of states in which youth votes can disproportionately decide the winner.

That outside youth influence is a particular focus for Fetterman’s team. talking to ledge On Tuesday, Calvello said that the Faterman campaign’s TikTok account would be run by a Gen Z-aged employee who would have about 25,000 in his personal account. By placing the account in the hands of a young person, the campaign hopes to create content that feels natural to the platform.

Nevertheless, the Fetterman campaign used a commanding lead against Oz in recent polls, including a Fox News poll that showed Fetterman leading by 11 points.

Despite criticism for failures to address harmful election misinformation, political campaigns still see social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as powerhouses for fundraising. in an interview with ledge On Tuesday, Alex Kellner, managing director of Bully Pulpit Interactive, an online strategy firm, said, “There’s still a lot of money to be spent on Facebook, but it may not be able to do business with acquisitions, fundraising and communicating with its current backers.” be more for them to be willing and excited.”

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is based in Beijing, and the app’s ability to leak sensitive US data to the Chinese government has been a cause for alarm among Republicans and Democrats. Earlier this summer, the Biden administration banned the use of the app on White House or federal government devices for security reasons, as previously reported politician,

Fetterman’s online jabs in Oz have made a sweet spot on social platforms like Facebook, which increasingly feature low-production video content on user feeds. With only seconds to grab a voter’s attention while scrolling, experts say more authentic content garners more engagement than highly produced campaign ads.

As the Fetterman camp sees it, this gives them a rare advantage on social platforms that are often perceived to be inclined toward extreme views and reactionary politics. “John’s followers will see brand new content exclusively for TikTok, and they can expect to keep up with John as he meets people across the Commonwealth,” Calvello said. “John is a unique candidate whose genuine, authentic message resonates on social media, as TikTok users will see in his posts.”

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