Candidates use social media to reach voters

Candidates use social media to reach voters »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. -- Google "Oregon Governors Race" and in a tenth of a second you get nearly half a million results.

Add YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, and voters can find themselves flooded with information.
 
“I think that Oregon is definitely reflecting the national trend,” said Steve Candee, a Political Science professor at Lane Community College.
 
A beneficial tool to potential voters — but is it too much info to digest?
 
 “We're becoming so much more of a convenience oriented society,” said Candee. “I can just go to the computer and get the information rather than pour over, having to read over a ballot measure for example, is torture.”
 
Jen Nimmo skipped the voter’s pamphlet entirely.
 
Nimmo "was just searching everything on Google and checking out what they had to say and what other people had to say about them before I made my decision,” said Nimmo.
 
Candee warned, “You have the technology that is so accessible and so immediate that there isn't time to be able to actually do the kind of necessary research to find out if the information is actually true or not.”
 
In the last election, Twitter had barely hit the national spotlight. Now the site joins YouTube and other social networking sites that Oregon candidates are relying on to reach a new generation of voters.
 
So are voters pamphlet even utilized to their full extent anymore?
 
Candee believes so.
 
“I think it's still a valuable tool and some students will still use that.”  
 
“I always read the voters pamphlet,” said Tina Scotton, a history and medieval sciences student at the University of Oregon.
 
“Information on websites I always just try to take it with a grain of salt, especially candidate websites cause they're trying to get you to vote for them," Scotton said.
 
Candee believes social media can me a powerful tool to voters, although he’s cautious.
 
Political analysts warn voters who use social media tools to be wary of sites with political rhetoric and to base voting decisions on information from sources they trust.