If you are wondering if social media coverage effects voter turnout, public perception, and election results, than Nielsen has some great facts and figures for you. Analysts looked at online social media buzz for 50 days preceding four political races-two senate seats and two state governors. From September 2010 to November 2012, they measured how often candidates were mentioned and then compared it against who eventually won.
The results are less than surprising, Candidates with the most buzz right before voting time won the election three out of four times. Pretty cool huh? Though the percentage of buzz for each candidate wasn't equal to their share of votes, it was still a pretty good indicator of success.
Overall, social media does seem to get people more engaged in the elections, and there's some evidence that it has increased voter turnout. Perhaps candidates need to focus more on reaching voters via social media platforms. In the past we have always struggled to get voter turnout higher, perhaps sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and StumbleUpon could be more effective ways to do that.
Anyway, here's some charts on what they found with social media buzz vs. eventual election success rates: