Online Campaigning

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

Candidates from all levels of government are clamoring to get web pages up so you can learn more about them anytime you want.

"At this point I don't think you can run an effective campaign without some type of online presence. I don't know if its necessarily a huge boost for most candidates, but I don't think that you can be truly effective without something," says WKU Political Science Professor Jonathan Winburn.

In a survey of 900 likely voters by Burst Media, the majority said that they prefer going online to learn about candidates over using traditional media.

"You get a more complete picture of the candidate. The websites are inviting. They're more welcoming. They don't have the more negative campaign overtones that we see in radio or television spots," agrees Mark McElroy of Connect Kentucky.

McElroy also says this type of advertisement is also inexpensive to the candidates' wallets.

"A candidate could spend as little as a few hundred dollars or as many as $20,000 on a robust website that's customized for their campaign"

Political hopefuls are also popping up on social communities like Myspace and Facebook to speak to a younger demographic of constituents.

"I think its one thing to have someone in your campaign, like maybe a student do a Myspace page, its another thing to translate that into actually getting people out to vote," notes Winburn.

While it may not replace the ads we're used to its appears to be the future of politics.

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