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Pinterest: Romney and Obama Campaigns Pin for Voters

A screenshot of Ann Romney’s Pinterest page. She had eight boards with 49 pins of photos and videos as of April 5.

On Thursday’s PBS NewsHour, Lauren Ashburn and Howard Kurtz of The Daily Download take a look at the efforts to reach women voters with the social media site Pinterest.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where users can pin images and videos of things that interest them. Users can organize pins by boards, and categorize them in topics ranging from architecture to weddings. The most popular pins include photos of crafts, fashion, food, inspirational quotes and puppies.

The site, which launched in 2010, has recently catapulted in popularity, especially among females. Estimates have the ratio of women on Pinterest ranging from 68 to a whopping 92 percent. The site’s users grew to 17.8 million by the end of February, a 52 percent rise in just one month, according to the analytics firm comScore.

Though politics isn’t among the 32 categories for boards, the large number of female “pinners” almost guaranteed that campaigns would soon pop up on Pinterest to connect with female voters.

Presidential GOP hopeful Mitt Romney is trailing President Barack Obama among women, according to recent polls. It may be telling that Ann Romney was one of the first associated with a campaign to start pinning. Her first official pin occurred on Feb. 21.

Romney’s wife is the campaign’s “secret weapon,” thrust often into the public to make her husband seem more relatable, Judy Woodruff noted in March. As of Thursday, she has almost 5,000 followers following pins of relatable recipes, casual photos and holiday crafts.

A screenshot of the Obama for America campaign’s Pinterest page. The campaign had 83 pins spread across eight boards as of April 5.

President Obama’s reelection campaign, “Obama for America” joined Pinterest in February. The campaign started pinning March 27. The pins lean more toward advocacy than Ann Romney’s, Ashburn points out in Thursday’s Daily Download.

Romney and Obama aren’t the only ones using Pinterest for politics. Newt Gingrich has pins of his visits to gas stations, conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation has a board titled “Obama’s favorite vacation spots”, and liberal site Think Progress has a board called “luxury hotels of the Romney campaign.”

Find more examples on NewsHour’s board “Politics on Pinterest”.

Do you use Pinterest? Do you think politics fits on Pinterest? Share your thoughts in the comments or tell us on Twitter.

Read more about NewsHour’s “Why I Go To School” board here and follow all of NewsHour’s boards here.

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