Monday, April 28, 2008

YouTube Politics goes local

There's been a tremendous amount of attention on how the presidential candidates are using YouTube this election - but you might not know that senate, congressional, and state campaigns are already using YouTube as well. We've recently expanded our You Choose '08 platform to include "Politician" channels from these races so that they're easier to find - just scroll through the Channel browse tool on YouTube to find them, or link over from the You Choose '08 platform.

At the Congressional level, several candidates are using YouTube in interesting ways. Twenty-nine year old congressional candidate Bill McCamley is reaching out to young people on YouTube in New Mexico. Senator Norm Colemen is creating made-for-YouTube videos to attack his challenger, Comedian Al Franken, in Minnesota's Senate race (of course Franken - a natural YouTube candidate, has his own channel as well). And Mayor John Hickenlooper of Denver has a slew of interesting content his channel - including this clip from his 2005 mayoral campaign in which he jumped out of a plane to make a point.

Political committees on Capitol Hill are fueling strong YouTube strategies as well - the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is sending videographers out to key states to profile Democratic Senate candidates in a new program called 'Road to Victory'. They're posting the results on a Google map on their website and compiling them in a YouTube playlist as well. And you can bet that they aren't just profiling their own candidates (like Mary Landrieu or Ronnie Musgrove) but will be keeping an eye on their opponents as well.... The DSCC tells us the next race in the series will feature the Franken/Coleman race in Minnesota.

On the right, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has been just as active - releasing video press releases like wildfire. A few weeks ago when Senator Obama's "bitter" statements hit the news, the NRSC uploaded 7 videos to their YouTube channel, each containing the same audio clip of the Senator's statements. Each video asked whether a different Democratic Senate contender would be using their Superdelegate vote to support the Obama campaign. This is a great way to stretch one piece of video for all it's worth - targeting several races through essentially the same YouTube video. Here's one of the seven, focused on Mark Warner in Virginia:

...a smart way to capitalize on a hot news item in the presidential campaign in order to put the heat on Senate opponents across the country.

As the election season moves on we'll see more and more candidates at the Senate, state, and local level using YouTube in interesting ways - if you see anything worth highlighting - let us know.


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