Tales from the Trail

Meg Whitman breaks new virtual ground with Facebook ‘polling’ ads

July 28, 2010

USA-POLITICS/CALIFORNIA

In 2010 a candidate would be ill-advised to ignore the Internet, especially if he or she wants to reach younger voters who aren’t paying attention to more traditional campaigns — or, even worse, are tuning out politics entirely.

And Republican Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who is running for California  governor against Democrat Jerry Brown,  certainly isn’t the first candidate to advertise on Facebook in hopes of tapping into its nearly 500 million users.

But Whitman’s campaign says she has become the first political candidate to use “polling ads” on Facebook — or spots that engage users, asking them to decide which issues they want to hear the candidate address.

Campaign spokeswoman Sarah Pompei says the first polling ad went live last night, popping up on the Facebook pages of Californians over 18 and asking them to choose one of three issues facing California:  creating jobs, cutting state spending or fixing education.  

When the votes are tallied in about a week, she said, Whitman will address it in a videotaped speech to the Facebook audience.

“The Facebook ads play an important role in our strategy to build community support and engage younger voters in the campaign,” Pompei said. “We’re using these innovative campaign tools to build the groundswell of support for Meg’s agenda, and this is just the latest example.” 

Whitman, a billionaire who is largely funding her own campaign and outspending Brown, has already made an aggressive early push for Latino voters, making surprising inroads with a traditionally Democratic constituency.  Now it appears she’s going after another: young voters.

“Meg is targeting many different constituencies in California and younger voters are part of that,” Pompei said. “The number one issue facing young voters, like a lot of Californians, is jobs, and Meg’s priority is getting them back to work.”

Photo credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson (Meg Whitman speaks to supporters in June after winning the Republican primary)

Comments
One comment so far | RSS Comments RSS

Well I can say that Meg is getting me to do something I swore I would never do after the whole Gray Davis debacle which is vote for a democrat. I could never in good conscious vote for someone that didn’t even bother to vote for 28 years. Someone that will give illegal immigrants privileges that most Californian’s can’t even get. As for jobs get serious why would I trust someone that outsourced jobs to another country when they ran Ebay. Oh not to mention the fact she has ZERO respect for the United States Constitution.

Posted by KylaGWolf | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/