Text Messages, YouTube, Facebook Influencing Young Voters in 08 Election

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

With less than three months to go before November 4th, the heat is on the presidential campaigns to win over as many voters as possible, including an ever growing population of young voters. Where they hope to win that battle -- the internet.

"There is a wider margin of students that get their information through sources which are electronic," said Chase Erwin, a Mesa State College student.

"I think it's a good idea," said Megan Blasdel. "Especially when we get to where we're the ones they're trying to influence. It's good to be into the technology that we're into now."

Moving forward into that technological world is just what the Obama and McCain campaigns are trying to do. They're setting up channels on YouTube, asking supporters to "friend" the candidates on Facebook, and sending campaign information via text messages.

"I think TV is being phased out by internet, blog posts, and YouTube," said Erwin.

For students who text and surf those sites everyday, they say it's working.

"The text messaging, the technology will maybe sway some people to vote for him because they're trying to get to us," said Blasdel.

Local political groups say the power of the electronic media in this election is unprecedented.

"With all those elements out there today, the text messages, the facebook, the YouTube, I think it's incredible," said Gary Roahrig, Chair of the Mesa County Republicans. "It's an opportunity to reach out to people in their medium. I've got boys that are in their twenties and it's important for them to reach out and grab their data, whether it be off somebody's blog, text message, or email blast."

With hundreds of thousands, or in some cases millions, of hits these sites have received, some say the power of the web will only become greater in future elections.

"Young voters are really wired in and tied into the internet these days," said MacKenzie Gibson, a student member of Mesa State College for Obama. "That's the wave of the future. That's how campaigns are going to be waged in the future."

To visit these sites for yourself, click on the links below (Note: to view the Facebook pages, you must be a registered member of the site.)

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