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Presidential race hits Web

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Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can now be your friend on Facebook and Myspace.

With one click of “add to friends,” these 2008 presidential candidates can be your friend on the Internet society web sites. Obama and Clinton are not the only ones using Facebook and Myspace, but so has Senator John McCain.

YouTube is also a popular Web site for the presidential candidates.

Candidates are posting their speeches on YouTube in case the public missed them, but some are skeptical towards its use.

“People who use YouTube are already involved,” said Brian Floyd, a political consultant with Floyd & Lucsko.

Floyd isn’t opposed to the use of Myspace and Facebook as campaign strategies but sees it as the “reverse of traditional campaign.”

Instead of traditional campaigns strategies such as TV and radio, which reach out to the public, users of Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube search out Web sites, only allowing the information to be viewed by those looking.

Young people who use these Web site have mixed feelings about the use of the society Web sites.

“I think that’s kind of ridiculous, personally,” said Lorie Gates, a sophomore at Victor Valley Community College. “Myspace is taking over the world.”

Erika Gray, a freshman biology major thinks it will help.

“It’s cool because people complain about the youth not being involved,” Gray said. “It’s a smart tactic.”

Statistically, people in their 20’s do not vote as much as the older generations.

“The 55+ drive the elections,” Floyd said. “I don’t think the youth will get involved.”

“Kids don’t care, they get bored with politics,” Ashkan Abbasian said, a freshman biology major. “They’ll add Clinton on Myspace because they want celebrity friends.”

As of Monday, Clinton has 38,595 friends on Myspace, Obama has 18,449, and McCain 14,559.

Obama’s, “My Plans for 2008” speech which has been posted on YouTube has been viewed 197,359 times. The speech is three minutes, seven seconds long, and at 197,359 views, totaling way too much time spent on YouTube.

Facebook is also a place where anti-campaigns are bred. The first two search pages for Hillary Clinton have 15 anti-Clinton groups available to view and join.

Obama has only six negative Facebook groups on the first two search pages.

If Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube are not successful as campaign tools, they do prove useful as feedback, and popular ways to receive information.

Dustin Smith can be reached at dsmith9@ulv.edu.

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