Monday, May 7, 2012

Campaign Web Wars 2.0 - Republicans Strike Back

Raw Story

Tired of playing catch-up to the Obama Internet juggernaut, Republicans have rolled out a one-stop online shop for conservative activism which they hope will help them capture the White House.

The Social Victory Center, which launched this week and allows Republicans to do everything from distribute campaign materials to ring up undecided voters in battleground states like Ohio, has been craftily embedded in the most comprehensive social media landscape of them all: Facebook.

Call it the Republican National Committee’s newest weapon in campaign web wars 2.0, the virtual battlefield of the 2012 election. But is Democratic President Barack Obama’s huge advantage in Facebook, Twitter, digital advertising and online fundraising already unassailable?

The web emerged as a star campaign player in 2008, and Obama used it to unprecedented effect to thump rival John McCain. Now Republicans are re-arming.

“We lost the technology battle in the 2008 cycle, without a doubt, and we could not stand by and get away with just having (campaign) centers make telephone calls and knock on doors,” RNC political director Rick Wiley told AFP at the committee’s Washington headquarters.

“We had to develop something that took on the Obama campaign’s presence on the web.”

Romney, the presumptive nominee, needs a vibrant online presence to galvanize support as his campaign enters a summer lull before the party nominating conventions in late August.

In its new app the RNC seeks to recreate the volunteer experience online, eliminating geographic boundaries to allow Republicans in red states like Texas to impact the dozen or so swing states that will decide the November election.

Both sides have capitalized on YouTube to stream press conferences, weekly addresses or online campaign videos for free, making the medium the “fireside chats” of their era.

But social media in particular will have an extraordinary impact in 2012.

“I can tell you right now that social marketing will swing millions of votes in this election,” said Scott Klososky, an author and expert on social technology.

“It will also allow candidates to target demographics in completely new ways and that will be key for the GOP.”

Read the full story @ Raw Story


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