Over the past few weeks, we’ve read and heard about how Florida wants to move its primary earlier – so the primary has some relevance to the nomination process in both parties. The first fund-raising quarter ended, and pundits have analyzed this first part of the “money” primary.
Now comes something that could really throw a wrench into things: The MySpace Primary.
Yes, Myspace has announced that it will hold an on-line primary for its members on January 1st and 2nd next year.
Online Media Daily has some interesting facts about MySpace:
How well does MySpace represent the overall U.S. adult population? Well, while MySpace’s registration system is far from fail-safe, comScore Media Metrics reports the site has some 65 million monthly U.S. visitors, 85% of whom are of voting age.
It’s also important for political consultants to note that MySpace users 18-and-up exhibit a high level of efficacy and are three times more likely to interact online with a public official or candidate, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
In addition, MySpace users are 42% more likely to watch politically related online video, 35% more likely to research politics online, and 44% more likely to listen to political audio online.
But this will have a significant impact well outside of cyberspace. How many of us remember in June of 2003, when a little known governor from Vermont won the MoveOn.org online Democratic primary? (Finishing second didn’t help Dennis Kucinich, however.)
Now granted, the MoveOn Primary also had a carrot – an official endorsement. MySpace won’t do that.
But it will generate a heck of a lot of buzz two weeks before the Iowa Caucuses.
A lot of buzz.
The MoveOn vote was enough to propel Howard Dean to front-runner status, before his campaign imploded. A MySpace win can do the same.
You see, major media sources will talk about the primary for days afterward. Bloggers on the right and left will discuss the ramifications. The campaigns will spin the results to best suit them.
Jeff Jarvis wrote about this, saying “candidates will now need to spend some effort and, yes, money there to make sure that Obama doesn’t walk away with the virtual election and the subsequent rush of publicity (just watch: the winner on MySpace will end up being announced on network news shows…)“
Finally, here are the current MySpace Friends numbers for the candidates, courtesy of techPresident:
- Obama – 92,274
- Clinton - 33,370
- Edwards – 17,386
- Kucinich – 2,697
- Richardson – 2,151
- Biden – 1,472
- Vilsack – 1,317
- Dodd – 620
- Gravel – 2
- Paul – 5,187
- Romney – 4,253
- McCain – 3,850
- Giuliani – 1,688
- Tancredo – 1,262
- Hunter – 941
- Huckabee – 801
- Brownback – 285
Obama has more Friends than all of the other candidates combined. It will be interesting to see how these numbers look come December 31st.