Connecting and Campaigning Online

By: Erin Logan Email
By: Erin Logan Email

Political campaigns are having to change how they attract potential voters.

The internet gives candidates a way to speak directly to their audience, particularly the younger voters.

Sites like "You-Tube," My-Space, and Facebook enable potential voters to see the candidates in a candid atmosphere for better or worse.

Their messages are getting out without any filters, but of course so are their flubs.

It's only been around for a few years, but Facebook is a favorite site for young adults.

According to TechCrunch, 85 percent of college students are Facebook members.

South Bend’s Republican mayoral candidate Juan Manigault say he's taking full advantage of it's appeal to this target age group. He says, “I think we need to create and utilize technology as one vehicle of many to re-establish the opportunity to build a relationship with people and to get them to participate with government.”

Manigault says a young campaign volunteer gave him the idea to create a profile on Facebook.
It's only been five days and he's already had over 85 people from South Bend communicating with him. More people are clicking on his profile by the minute.

He says he encourages people to do more than read his political platform. He welcomes challenge. Manigault says, “I love technology and I want people to know who I am. I am not afraid to hear and I'm not afraid to answer their questions. I'm not afraid to build that relationship.”

Manigault's competitor, South Bend's longest serving Mayor Stephen Luecke says he too plans on taking the campaign trail to the internet. Luecke says, “I think its an important way to be able to share issues with people and let them do research. You find so many people who don't rely on traditional news media. This is a way to provide information so that they come find you as you find them.”

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