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article imageMobile apps debut in U.S. presidential election campaigns

By Leigh Goessl     Aug 3, 2012 in Politics
Mobile apps have been steadily integrated into daily activities for some time now, so it's not surprising apps are now becoming a part of election campaigns.
President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney have released mobile apps which demonstrates both candidates are actively embracing this form of information distribution.
According to Mobile Marketer, both Obama and Romney released mobile apps this week.
• "Obama for America" mobile app
The President's new app, "Obama for America" appears to be more of a practical and multi-purpose use, although it is currently limited to iPhones; the app's download site notes Android is "coming soon."
However, for those who are able to download it immediately, this app is designed to help users find local volunteer events, obtain lists of voters in neighborhoods and access up-to-the-minute information, providing the ability to share with other social platforms, such as email, texts, Facebook and Twitter.
"The app will make it even easier to connect with the campaign and pitch in wherever you are. This campaign’s strength has always come from the millions of grassroots supporters who are organizing their communities, and the new Obama app puts the latest organizing tools right at your fingertips," states the "Obama for America" website.
• "Mitt's VP" app
Romney's new mobile app looks to be more limited in nature, as it is strictly geared towards announcing his pick as a running mate. Mobile users that download the app, available for both iPhone and Android, will be among the first to know when the Republican candidate makes his vice-president selection.
"The historic announcement is getting closer," Beth Myers, who heads the Romney campaign's search for a number two, wrote in a statement (courtesy CNN). "Soon everyone will know who Mitt Romney selects as his Vice Presidential running mate. With this new app, users can be the first to know the second member of America's Comeback Team."
Several media outlets, however, note that journalists have already downloaded the app, so it'll be mainstream news rapidly. However, it's creation does illustrate the Romney campaign is willing to integrate technology to reach out to potential voters. Obama heavily used new trends in 2008.
It's clear that both candidates are looking for increased ways to reach out to voters, perhaps especially those in the younger age demographic. WHSV reported this week about the Romney app:
“This is an effort now to say we want your vote, too,” said James Madison University political analyst Bob Roberts. “There are conservative young voters out there. We're going to pay attention to you, and therefore we're going to use social media, too.”
In this respect, mobile outreach is a natural part of this progression, for both Democrats and Republicans.
More about Mobile apps, iPhone, Android, us presidential election, 2012 election
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