The John McCain campaign is scrambling to catch up with presidential rival Barack Obama in what has been his campaign’s forte — online fund-raising and vote-getting.
Republicans have concentrated their efforts on such traditional avenues as television ads to reach voters, while the Democrats have focused heavily on social networks and other audience-participation sites to reach younger voters and small donors, Business Week magazine reports.
Obama has nearly 1.5 million “friends” on social networks Facebook and MySpace, while McCain has only about 203,000 supporters on the two networks.
Obama also has 850,000 participants on his own social network, MyBarackObama.com.
Any doubts that online success will translate into success in fundraising and at the polls were dispelled by the record turnout of young voters during the Democratic primaries and the $200 million Obama has raised over the Web, Business Week observes.
Now the Republicans have been seeking to make up for lost time. In February, the campaign launched McCainSpace, an online community modeled after MySpace. On June 6, the Republican National Committee launched MeetBarackObama.com, a site highlighting criticism of the Democratic candidate.
Earlier this month, McCain hired Michael Goldfarb, a blogger for The Weekly Standard, as the campaign’s deputy communications director, and he now blogs for McCain’s site.
And on June 24, David All’s consulting firm helped launch Whereisthered.com along with the College Republican National Committee. The blog follows several college Republicans as they travel through “Red” congressional districts around the country to show young voters the appeal of the GOP across America, according to Business Week.
“It is time for the Republicans to catch up online, said All.
“I don’t think it’s too late.”
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