John Edwards launched his presidential bid on YouTube, asking viewers to text-message him. Hillary Rodham Clinton threw her hat in the ring in a more controlled fashion, with a video posting to her website. Then Barack Obama stole some of her thunder by announcing his White House aspirations in a video that quickly flew around the Internet. Now the Illinois senator is rocketing toward a half-million friends on the social-networking site Facebook.com.
The Internet and mobile technology have fed an explosion in person-to-person communication and so-called viral marketing that are shaping up to be powerful forces in the 2008 election. The combination will create enormous opportunities for campaigns but also raises the risk that an unguarded moment will spread at lightning speed to sink a candidacy, political consultants say.
|Democratic Candidates||Republican Candidates|
|Barack Obama||61663||Ron Paul||3718|
|Hillary Clinton||27981||Mitt Romney||2083|
|John Edwards||12256||Rudy Giuliani||1379|
|Dennis Kucinich||2627||Tom Tancredo||1158|
|Bill Richardson||1403||Sam Brownback||832|
|Joseph Biden||622||Mike Huckabee||629|