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Tri-State politicians use social media to connect with constituents

Around seven-in-ten Americans use social media today to connect with one another.

And that includes their government officials.

"The government does play a more vital role," said Dr. Richard Hardy at Western Illinois University.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens joined his constituents on Facebook Live Wednesday afternoon for a casual Q & A.

"What I thought we'd do today is just take an opportunity to respond to some of those questions that we're getting on Facebook. Chad said I'd like you to discuss state employee pay," said Greitens.

With thousands of viewers joining live, it's easy to see why politicians use these outlets to communicate with taxpayers.

Lawmakers such as Senator Dick Durbin use Twitter to respond to national topics.

The most recent being Andrew Puzder withdrawing his nomination for labor secretary.

Durbin tweets:


Meanwhile Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner used Facebook Live Tuesday to preview Wednesday's annual state budget address. Using the hashtag ILBudget, he addressed everything from transportation to public safety and human services.

Dr. Richard Hardy at Western Illinois University says the advantage of social media, is that messages are received in a different format.

"Politicians also know they get more mileage by being on social media," said Hardy.

The bottom line - voters who use social media to follow a politician say a major reason is that it makes them feel more personally connected to a politician or group.

The Pew Research Center says one-in-five social media users like seeing lots of political content, but 37% say they are worn out by political discussions on these platforms.

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