Twitter Updates

Friday, June 02, 2006

MySpace and CA Gubernatorial Primary

It has been weeks since C.W. Nevius' column in the San Francisco Chronicle on the Steve Westly and Phil Angelides campaigns using MySpace:

This is the new world of politics on the Internet. With the Millennium generation, an enormous chunk of the population between 13 and 25 years old that is just coming into prime voting age, experts say politicians would be foolish to ignore the nearly 76 million MySpace users. Even if they aren't sure what the fuss is about. [...]

The Web site has become a huge factor in upcoming elections, says Theo Yedinsky, director of the New Politics Institute, a part of the New Democratic Network, which is pushing candidates to explore new mediums to reach voters.

"I think it is unbelievably important,'' Yedinsky says. "And my question for the future would be: If you are a presidential candidate (in 2008), do you have MySpace organizers? And if you don't, why not? Because this is way too big to ignore.''

Yesterday, the SFist ranked Westly and Angelides using a number of criteria, including MySpace friends. When they posted, Angelides dominated with 1383 friends to Westly's 199. But it gets worse. Not only is Angelides winning 7:1, but Westly has actually lost two friends in the last 24 hours (could lying ads be to blame?). Meanwhile, Phil Angelides' MySpace page continues to gain support and the California Young Dems are pulling out all of the stops for his campaign.

While this might seem trivial, the fact that young people are turned off by DLC losers like Westly is critically important for the future of the Democratic Party. Matt Stoller points out:
There are 75 million Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s, which is a quarter of the US population. The youth voting group is the ONLY group in which Democrats gained votes percentage-wise from 2000 to 2004. It is the only reliably Democratic voting block in terms of age cohort.
Whoever is the nominee will be tasked with inspiring young people in November, something Westly seems unable to do. If he wins, he will need to help turn out the youth vote in 2008 and will position California Democrats for the 2010 campaign that will determine the legislature that redistricts California's congressional districts -- meaning there are significant national implications.

Nevius concludes:
You say you don't believe it? All right, but don't say you weren't warned. The Millennium generation is 1 out of every 3 people in the country, and all of them are coming into voting age. And nearly 76 million of them are on MySpace.
Democrats need to excite this demographic, not turn them off with stale DLC candidates.

No comments: