Profile polling

By DAVID MASHBURN  |  September 27, 2007

John Edwards rounds out the top three democratic nominees with a flair for serious dedication to social networking. Maybe because Edwards didn’t have a real job for the past couple of years (other than thinking about the indigent), he dedicated far too much time to creating and refining his social network profiles. His Facebook avatar joined 174 groups spanning the spectrum of progressive issues and pro-Edwards coalitions. His interests include “fighting poverty” and “ending the genocide in Darfur” (versus Obama’s interests: “basketball” and “loafing w/ kids”). Grammar doesn’t appear to be Edwards’s strong suit with four fragments in a ten sentence long “About Me” section. His MySpace page is highly interactive with links to his blog, contribution page, requests for Edwards to come to your town, and links to add Edwards as a friend on Facebook and vote in Facebook’s Election ’08 application.

While MySpace and MTV are sponsoring the interactive dialogues, Facebook is angling to make its own mark in the presidential election. Public opinion on sample polling holds that they are about as reliable as sun-dried condoms, plus or minus a few points. Facebook is disregarding the public’s dislike of polls and is tallying the votes cast by Facebook users through the Election ’08 application, a mock election hosted by Newsvine.com. Leading the pack is Obama with 56,230 votes, nearly three times as many votes as the runner-up in either party. Clinton, Edwards, and Gore — who isn’t officially even in the election and most likely won’t be — follow for the Democrats. On the Republican side, Giuliani is the pack leader with 20,487 votes, followed by dark horse candidate Ron Paul (the Phoenix estimates his odds at 500,000 to 1), Thompson, Romney, and McCain. But with over 220,000 votes cast on Facebook and over 50,000 in the last month alone, the real winner this year may be our generation as a whole if interest remains high and voter turnout spikes. The MySpace/MTV dialogues are proof that the candidates can no longer afford to overlook a voting bloc several million strong with the energy and dedication to lift a campaign. Young voters need to capitalize on our ability to force issues we care about on the candidates in a way that was completely unprecedented as little as three years ago.

Now if only Hillary will respond to my poke...

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