Twitter boss Elon Musk urges Americans to vote Republican in midterm elections

Elon Musk at Trump Tower on January 6, 2017 (AFP via Getty Images)
Elon Musk at Trump Tower on January 6, 2017 (AFP via Getty Images)

New Twitter boss Elon Musk has urged Americans to vote for Republican candidates in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Musk tweeted: “To independent-minded voters: Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic.”

He added: “Hardcore Democrats or Republicans never vote for the other side, so independent voters are the ones who actually decide who’s in charge!”.

It’s widely expected that the Republicans will seize control of the House of Representatives in tomorrow’s key ballot but the Senate, which has just 100 members, is thought to be on a knife-edge with several close races.

Musk, who is also CEO of the electric car company Tesla, has had a chaotic start to life in charge of Twitter after spending $44bn to buy the social networking site, where he has over 113m followers.

Half the Twitter workforce worldwide was laid off on Friday but reports from the United States this morning indicate some of those who were let go are being asked to return.

Since closing the $44 billion deal, Musk has laid out a series of ideas for a new user verification process for Twitter through its subscription service Twitter Blue.

In a thread of tweets, Musk said he will give “power to the people” by offering verification through Twitter Blue for $8 a month. He said participants will get priority in mentions, replies and search, receive half as many ads, and will be able to tweet long videos and audio.

A host of major brands have halted advertising spending with Twitter in recent days, including Volkswagen, General Motors and Pfizer.

Almost all of Twitter’s revenue currently comes from advertising, and Musk has been looking for ways to cut costs and make money in different ways from the platform.