Baltimore Mayoral Candidates Campaign Via Online Social Networks

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The Baltimore mayor’s race may reach more people than ever before, now that social networking is all the rage.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains how candidates are conducting campaigns on the Internet.

How tweet it is! Baltimore candidates campaign in cyberspace. The mayoral contenders are all a twitter and ready to friend anyone who’ll follow. Using social networks to support political platforms is a strategy analysts see as having a far-reaching effect.

“It’s a brand new dynamic,” said Matthew Crenson, political expert.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake is running an ad on her website and encouraging voters to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Councilman Carl Stokes is likewise using Facebook to reach new voters.

“It’s a new audience for a lot of us,” Stoke said. “Young people, who sometimes don’t see a need to vote or feel connected, feel as if candidates are talking to older voters and not to them.”

The Landers campaign goes for exposure.

“This way you can go to various websites and you can spend hours if you choose to digging into what the candidates’ positions are, send them e-mails and say ‘I’m concerned about this. What’s your position on it?’” said Jody Landers.

And it lets the candidates watch the voters watching them.

“It’s almost as though while the voters are choosing candidates, the candidates are choosing the voters that they want to get their messages to, to tailor their messages to different subgroups in the electorate,” Crenson said.

And whoever wins will have a good idea what’s on voters’ minds.

The Internet is also becoming the new best way to solicit campaign donations.

Baltimore’s primary election is Sept. 13.

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