Over the past month, the Peirce for Ohio campaign has taken their netroots operation deep into the youth vote using popular social software. Plowing into the MySpace territory in a short time-span, Bill Peirce’s profile has managed to amass roughly 45 new Ohioan friends and supporters every single day since June 18th, for a recent total of 1365 friends. Peirce’s nearest competitor, Democrat Ted Strickland, has a paltry 585 friends even though he’s had an account since at least February.
The lesson? Reaching out to voters doesn’t always have to be hard, you just have to know where they are. And many are finding themselves receptive to Bill’s plans for less government and increased liberty for the state of Ohio, something that’s crossing party lines more often than not these days. And it’s ringing louder than ever with young voters and activists.
Funny enough, Republican Ken Blackwell, who has lagged behind Strickland in every single poll has a campaign strategy that seems intent on keeping MySpace a Libertarian and Democrat goldmine this election. Campaign press secretary Carlo LoParo happily burned the MySpace bridge before they had even come to it saying, “We would consider a MySpace page if we could be 18 again. Ken Blackwell is running for governor of Ohio, not student body president.” Incidentally, Blackwell does have a profile, though it appears to be one that makes fun of him.
Even more curious is that Peirce has even managed to quickly blow by Libertarian heavyweight Michael Badnarik, who’s been on MySpace since at least mid-April 2006 and has 1185 friends.
I called the campaign and asked how this fit in with a lack of media coverage. Charles Peirce explained, “When people are actually presented with Bill’s ideas, they are receptive. And we’re actually listening to their questions.” He pointed to a corrolary MySpace group where anyone can ask Bill Peirce questions on his issues and policies in an open forum — Q&A with Bill.
I say bravo to Charles for running with this idea so quickly and so far. It will be interesting to see how much we can level the playing field in these few months leading up to the elections.
[disclaimer: Stephen VanDyke is an avid supporter and ally of the Peirce for Ohio Governor campaign and has received payment in association with his work for them. This post is not paid for or endorsed by the candidate]