September 18th, 2008
04:20 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain, Obama use Facebook to encourage voter registration

The McCain and Obama camps have both launched efforts to get users of Facebook to register to vote.
The McCain and Obama camps have both launched efforts to get users of Facebook to register to vote.

(CNN) – Election Day is still weeks away but both presidential campaigns are already ramping up their voter registration and turnout operations.

The McCain and Obama campaigns are both encouraging their supporters to make sure they’re registered to vote and to request absentee ballots. The push is taking place through e-mail and the campaigns’ Web site and even through new applications on Facebook which both campaigns have debuted in the last day.

“We need your help more than ever,” the Obama campaign said in a Facebook update Thursday which touted an updated version of the campaign’s application on the popular social networking site. The revised application is now headlined by a large module that allows users to check whether they are registered to vote, to request an absentee ballot, and to locate their polling place. The new module replicates functionality available on a Web site launched by the Obama campaign soon after the Republican convention.

The Obama camp’s effort to encourage registration and absentee voting on Facebook comes less than a day after the McCain camp rolled out its own application on the site to encourage its supporters to vote early or obtain absentee ballots.

“Now more than ever, your vote is critical,” the McCain-Palin update said. “Voting early, or with an absentee ballot, is the best way to avoid the long line on Election Day and get your vote counted.” The new McCain application takes users to a page on the campaign’s Web site where they can fill out a form to request an absentee ballot or register to vote.

The camps’ two new applications are only the latest in increasing efforts by both sides to utilize Facebook to spread their message and galvanize their supporters. Thursday, the McCain camp also premiered a Facebook application dedicated to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s popular running mate. The new Palin application appears to function as a link from a user’s profile to Palin’s Facebook fan page. The McCain camp also recently launched “McCain Live,” an application which allows supporters to watch live, streaming video of McCain-Palin campaign events from their Facebook profiles.

Having already established a substantial presence on the social networking site through its original application, the Obama campaign now appears to be trying to leverage its base of more than a million supporters on Facebook into grassroots foot soldiers. Since Obama formally accepted the Democratic nomination, his campaign has encouraged supporters on Facebook to sign-up for a number of affinity fan pages targeted to women; veterans; gays/lesbians; various ethnic/racial groups and to supporters interested in spreading the messages of the “Obama Action Wire,” the campaign’s fact-checking operation. In addition, the Obama campaign is also encourage supporters to establish connections on Facebook to fan pages the campaign has established for various states.

With nearly 1.9 million supporters, Sen. Obama continues to lead in the fan count on Facebook. His running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, currently has roughly 52,000 supporters on the site. By contrast, Sen. McCain’s Facebook supporters now number approximately 340,000 while Gov. Palin currently has about 216,000 supporters on the social networking site.

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader

    Oh, yeah. I can just imagine McCain using Facebook. Was that before or after he invented the BlackBerry?

    September 18, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Addie, Duke

    The young vote is critical and I hope Barack wins. When the girls get old enough, they'll be able to help their dad, but until then we'll do our best.

    Keep up the good work Senator, and we'll see you in November

    September 18, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. mitchell

    obama actually gets results,tho.

    September 18, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. Rachielle from VA

    The McBushies think they're slick!

    "vote early and avoid a long line"???

    They already know after the debates, nobody is going to vote for them, so they want them to vote now. they know they're going to say something stupid, and turn everyone off.

    hilarious.

    i hope not many fall for that.

    September 18, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. White Mother for Obama!!

    Once again I see McCain the Copycat... Obama has used facebook for many many months now... he was using it during his race for the nomination. IVe had it on my facebook for many many many months.

    So McCain is just a copycat and follows in the shadow of the real true leader of our Country LOL... woohoo!!

    September 18, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. peakarack

    OBAMA IS MR. NO EXPERIENCE. NO DOMESTICE EXPERIENCE,NO ECONOMICE EXPERIENCE,NO EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE AND NO FOREIGN EXPERIENCE. PEOPLE,WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO HAVE THE NEXT PRESIDENT TO BE ON THE JOB TRAINNING PERIOD.
    -==================
    MCCAIN/PALIN 08!

    September 18, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Grace

    Obama supporters-please register , get absentee ballots , remind friends
    Thsi election is very critical for America..

    September 18, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  8. RJ, CA

    The "silent majority" gives diddly about Facebook - or these tickers, for that matter. They look at the facts before they vote:

    What is causing the current economic crisis?

    The subprime mortgage meltdown.

    When did the subprime mortgage meltdown begin?

    In 2006/2007.

    Who was given an overwhelming mandate by the American voters in 2006?

    The Democratic Congress.

    Who voted 98% of the time with the Democrats in Congress?

    Barrack Obama.

    The legislative branch (Congress) makes our laws — the president
    merely enforces these laws.

    THESE ARE FACTS!

    McCain/Palin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Who will put the USA back on the RIGHT track!
    NO bigger government.
    NO welfare state.

    NO OBAMA, NO WAY, NOT NOW, NOT EVER!

    September 18, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. Keith

    The facts
    McCain does have people who have registered to lobby Congress as both staff members and unpaid advisers. As CNN's Ed Henry reported September 9, the seven Obama refers to include campaign manager Rick Davis, a high-profile lobbyist whose clients have included telecommunications companies, and senior adviser Charlie Black, whose lobbying has included working with dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire (now Congo) and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi in Angola.

    September 18, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. Mario fl

    Mr. McCain ,facebook is not black berry...ahahahhahaaha

    September 18, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. Kenneth

    who is McCain kidding? Facebook?- Old and ugly pale facebook?
    Mcpalenfarce?

    September 18, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. Paul

    Have you noticed that John McCain looks more and more confused?

    September 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. Idania Pearson

    Does McSane even know how to find Facebook???????

    September 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. bonna

    So, what. because all the old one are voting for mccain, us young people don't have time to watch TV.

    September 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Republican Mama for Obama

    Only in Republican America would a BLACK man with a law degree from Harvard, 12 years in politics, 4 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee & manager of one of the most impressively flawless & forward thinking presidential campaigns be charged with not being ready for the presidency while a WHITE female evangelical former beauty queen with 19 months in national politics and a bachelors in journalism is considered "ready on day one."

    September 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. anyonmous

    stop copying mccain you are not a leader you are a follewer

    September 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Obama is REAL Change

    McCain the Copycat
    McCain the Copycat
    McCain the Copycat
    McCain the Copycat
    McCain the Copycat
    McCain the Copycat
    McCain the Copycat
    McCain the Copycat..........

    26 YEARS OF NOTHING AND STILL A COPY CAT!!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. GARY

    OBAMA IS MORE LIKE BUSH THAN MCCAIN EVER WAS OR WILL BE. MCCAIN IS THE MAVRICK.O.B. IS OLD POLITICS ,AND IT SHOWS WHO HE PICKED FOR VP. BIDEN WAS PICKED FROM WASHINGTON.PALIN WAS PICK AWAY FROM WASHINGTON. NOW WHO LOOKS MORE THE THE REFORMER AND CHANGER. IT SURE ISN'T O.B. O.B. IS A BIG JOKE.

    September 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Patrick

    "White Mother for Obama" you sure are ignorant. McCain has been on facebook for just as long as Obama. In fact as I'm sure you're unaware most young voters in 2000 supported McCain. It's funny that all the young new voters this time around are going for Obama calling for change, if they were voting in 2000 they would have voted for McCain. McCain has a history that all of us can look at of bucking his own party and voting for real change. Please I implore you to name me ONE time where Obama has gone against his own party? Not something that the democrats supported as well, but a time when the vast majority of his party was against something and he voted with the Republicans? Because I can name you about 15 times where McCain has done it.

    September 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. anyonmous

    problty there are fourty nine states have polls of polls mabye mccain doesnt want to loose any of them now he is worried

    September 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. anyonmous

    i am so sick and tired of mccain

    September 18, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. anyonmous

    make sure you dont take it to far mccain

    September 18, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. Terry, NJ

    Already registered to vote long ago. Sorry, I don't believe in Unicorns. Thanks for the offer of one if I voted for you Barack. I think people are going to be pissed when the only unicorn they get from you is one of the Gifts you can send on Facebook to display....

    September 18, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. aware

    McCain/Palin will prevail!

    America doesn't need you or the "arrogant dilettante" and "dos caras" — "two faces" Obama! :(

    McCain/Palin 08! :)

    September 18, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. aware

    McCain/Palin will prevail!

    America doesn't need the "arrogant dilettante" and "dos caras" — "two faces" Obama! :(

    McCain/Palin 08! :)

    September 18, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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