The vibe throughout Atlanta's mayor's race is: Social media is king. Online platforms are playing a huge role in the Atlanta Mayoral Election.
Now, the conversation online is shifting to being about a topic that has surfaced since the two runoff candidates were announced.
We've heard many campaign buzz words during the election season -- affordability, education, transportation, annexation, gentrification -- but the topic of race is taking center stage in Social Media, with many posts from big-name hip-hop artists like T.I., Killer Mike, 2Chainz and many others.
"If you ever want to understand the popular political sentiment of the people, you look at the art that's being produced," said Georgia State University professor and historian Maurice Hobson. "It is expressed in particular kinds of ways."
Hobson says he is not surprised social media influencers are wanting to shift the conversation to being about race and race relations -- especially in a city that is majority black and has had black mayors for decades.
"Those who say it is not about race have never been racialized," he said.
But with the clock ticking, have all of the campaign efforts reached potential voters? For some on Georgia State's campus, the answer is yes.
"It is historically important for sure for the city of Atlanta," one person said.
And for others -- not so much.
"I totally forgot about this whole thing happening," said another.
"We just don't feel like we can make that much of a difference," said yet another person.
With only hours remaining before the election, and with both candidates making last-minute pushes to gain support, Georgia State student Claire O'Neill say social media is the best way -- and in her estimation, the only way -- to reach young voters, which is why so many are taking the conversation there.
"This is somewhere we can make a difference. We can make a change," she said. "That local level is really where you want to be participating."
Many students on Georgia State's campus say to them it is more about political affiliation, and to support a candidate whose voting record supports their beliefs.
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