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GOV321 PAPER - The United States is reported to have 168...

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The United States is reported to have 168 million people that use the internet 1 . This number has increased dramatically from over a decade ago, when the internet just still very new. As the internet was gaining popularity, more and more people began to use it for different things. Eventually, politicians started forming their own websites in order to gain exposure for their campaigns. Also, the internet was a new tool which allowed politicians to communicate with potential voters. This new market for campaigning is getting more popular every year, for example, we have YouTube Presidential debates. But, with politicians putting more emphasis on their internet campaigns than they have in the past, the question must be answered; does internet campaigning really help a candidate win an election? Politicians campaigning to be elected to local, state, or federal government positions are nothing new in the United States. The methods being used to campaign have evolved over time, and vary by what position a candidate is vying for. For instance, a candidate running in a local campaign might include such tactics as putting signs in supporters’ front yards and along busy roadways, and going door-to-door. This is a time honored tradition of local government candidates, and gives the people of their particular constituency a chance to meet them and know where they stand. Candidates that are running for positions to represent their state in government such as in their state’s House or Senate, or in Congress may use similar tactics, may also go door-to-door, especially when in regards to grassroots campaigning. This candidate, in order to reach the broader constituency, will rely mostly on television, and newspaper advertisements, as well as roadside signs. Candidates that are running to represent their entire state or country, or a large district of a state, such as Senators, Congressmen in the House of Representatives, 1 http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/16/179.html 1
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and the President, need to expand their campaigns to reach out to more voters. Their campaigns often entail lengthy television ads that are shown statewide, or in the case of the President, nationwide. They will also place advertisements in newspapers, magazines, send out fliers, call potential voters, and tour their constituency. On these tours candidates often make appearances at public gatherings, make speeches, and greet the public. This would generally cover the major activities of a large campaign, that is, until not too many years ago. In the mid-to-late 1990s, the internet burst upon the American public. The “information superhighway” was giving people the ability to communicate with people not only across the country, but across the globe. The information on the internet was vast, and someone could research almost any topic they could possibly imagine. The world suddenly seemed like a much smaller, connected place. The ability to communicate with many people thousands of miles away was now available at the click of a button. It
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GOV321 PAPER - The United States is reported to have 168...

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