Barack Obama's scored one of his largest campaign victories in this weekend's Washington state caucus, and he did it with help from his "friends" on MySpace. The Obama campaign mobilized about 2,000 people on a special MySpace page for Washington state, and over a dozen of them were elected precinct delegates on Saturday. In a caucus, those delegates represent a candidates' official support, rather than the popular vote, and they compete in run-off elections to select the "national" delegates who attend the DNC convention and formally select the nominee.
Brittany Duff, a high school senior who turned 18 last month, told me she was the youngest person at her caucus this weekend, but people were happy to elect her as a delegate. She learned about Obama through the campaign's social networking portal, MyBo, and through MySpace, where she posted her reasons for supporting Obama on her profile:I can really support Obama because of his incredible character, charisma, and contributions to all parts of society, not just the well-off and well to do. There are few blemishes upon his record. That's not something I can honestly say about any other candidate. And what skeletons he does have in his closet, he brings out into the open himself in his book. That honesty is so refreshing in a climate of posturing and pretending. He really comes through as a person, not just a soulless political machine. That's what we need!
Melissa, a 21-year-old who won an alternate delegate position, told me she had never voted before, but it was "only natural" to attend the caucus because she is so excited by Obama's campaign. Other delegates and voters posted similar messages back at the MySpace page after the caucus ended, and on a Washington state blog thread at the campaign's homepage. This is more anecdotal evidence that the campaign's social networking is not only mobilizing new and young voters, but also fostering more intense and interactive political engagement.