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Unproven Social Media Stocks Winning Election 2012

Other media are expected to get a big earnings boost as election year ad spending eclipses new records, driven by new campaign fundraising records and super PAC spending.

Bernstein Research recently highlighted a second half earnings boost to Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Charter Communications (CHTR) and Cablevision (CVC) because cable networks are better positioned to distribute targeted TV ads to users in swing states. Meanwhile, Moody's highlights local media like Gray Television (GTN) and Media General (MEG) as highly levered to 2012 elections.

Carl Salas, a media and entertainment ratings analyst with Moody's, highlights campaign spending as a key growth market relative to the overall ad market and highlights Web-based players like Facebook as growing faster than traditional broadcast media given a small base.

Still, Salas tempers expectations social media will make the ads dominating airtime in swing states irrelevant anytime soon. "We are seeing market share being taken away [by social media], but it is still not a phenomena that is going to have a meaningful impact over the next set of elections," he says.

Nevertheless, as November votes reveal which way the American public is currently leaning, Facebook, Twitter and Pandora can use the first truly social campaign season to make the pitch that their business models have an advantage akin to an incumbent running for re-election.

For more on Facebook, see why a venture capital investor says to think long-term after a weak post-IPO performance.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York
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