Dave Yost lets his hair down on Twitter like few Ohio politicians would

Plain Dealer | Mary Kilpatrick

Scrolling through Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s Twitter feed is kind of like talking to the guy.

Yost, a Republican candidate for Ohio attorney general, is a quiet and deliberative character in person. But he’s not one to miss a joke.

Online, he tackles tough issues with the same thoughtfulness and humor. He’s game to poke fun at a political opponent, or riff on current events. Occasionally, he may spar with a troll or two. And perhaps offend some people. He admits his style sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t.

It’s an approach that resonates with a younger audience, seeking more authenticity in leaders, Emerson College political communications professor Vincent Raymauld said. Raymauld studies the way politicians interact on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and reviewed Yost’s tweets.

A small but growing number of politicians, like Yost, are taking a more informal, laid-back approach to the online platforms. They showcase their humanity, and seem more approachable.

“People can actually have an emotional connection with them. It’s not something that’s been done in traditional politics,” Raymauld said.

It’s an unusual approach to social media for someone seeking elected office.

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