MySpace announced that it will hold a "presidential primary" on Jan. 1-2 next year, before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
The virtual election will be open to all members of MySpace in the United States.
In March, MySpace launched the Impact Channel, a site designed to connect politicians, non profits and civic organizations with users worldwide.
The channel currently houses pages for 12 major-party presidential candidates. In May, My Space will launch a series of monthly straw polls to gauge where candidates stand.
What do you think? Will this get teenagers and twenty-somethings interested in the election? Will their primary results impact the election?
How do you envision candidates reacting to this news?
Hmm, well, here are my predictions for how this will play out: First of all, it will be a love-fest for the Democrats, and will deliver in-depth analysis from newly-emboldened MySpace users such as “Republicans SUCK.” Hillary Clinton will give it some early lip service but overall will ignore it, deeming such a fray to be beneath her. Barack Obama and John Edwards will flock to it and will actually try to participate (i.e. pander to it), but will find that their association with it pushes them farther to the left than they want to appear to actual voting-age people. Conservatives will ignore it completely, realizing that no one on MySpace leans to the right. Sean Hannity will declare it “an interesting exercise but ultimately, a waste of time”; Alan Colmes will accuse Sean of minimizing an entire block of future voters; and Rosie O’Donnell will claim it’s a conservative conspiracy to distract Democratic candidates so the right can start another war “under false pretenses.”
I have to admit, somewhat embarrassed, that I don’t pay much attention to MySpace . Now, it’s not simply because I’m closer to 40 than I am to 20, but it may be the fact that I see my time utilized better following blogs and websites that are more germane to my interests…
My 12-year-old daughter, on the other hand, is drooling at the idea of setting up her MySpace page (when I let her) and getting involved with the MySpace community. But when I asked her who she planned to vote for in the upcoming primary and eventually in the national election (if she were of age), she said… “I dunno’… Who do YOU vote for?”
I handed her the newspaper and walked into the other room to watch Glen Beck…
Will the poll, set up by MySpace, show an honest representation of voters? Will the fact that MySpace is “worldwide” make a difference? Will there be a qualification set to the data/votes received (age, country of origin, party affiliation, etc.)? Or is it just hype?
As a (MySpace) skeptic, I say it will be a fun exercise in polling with wild and amusing results. Will it have much effect on the outcome of future (real) elections? I hope not.
Then again, my wife has a MySpace page… And she’s of legal voting age…
Interesting questions, Drew. I’m curious to see what comes of it… Maybe I’ll go start my own MySpace page.
Great comment — thank you. Do you think MySpace voters are any less or more tainted? In other words, are the younger Americans more inclined to not be jaded yet?
I probably don’t disagree with you. 🙂
But I wonder if this means that candidates will campaign differently. Do they truly understand social media and how it works?
How will social media’s demand for transparency blend with politics?
I think you’re probably right on the money. But I do wonder what the ramifications are long term.
You ask a lot of good questions. Many of which, I suspect will be used to dismiss whatever happens in the MySpace primary.
It will be particularly interesting to see how Iowa comments on the new primary since the state prides itself on being first.