Monday, July 2, 2007

Integrating the web wins elections

Just ask (now Congressman) Jerry McNerney's campaign in California's 11th congressional district.

The numbers were grim, voter registration in the district favored the incumbent who'd already served 14 years in office:

44.39% Republican
36.98% Democrat
1.88% American Indendent
.42% Green
16.33% Unaffiliated

But the McNerney team used the web to take the campaign to the people--and to bring the people to the campaign. Fully integrating the web into their campaign helped every aspect of the race.

Said Congressman McNerney,

Winning a Congressional seat is an incredible undertaking. It certainly takes money and lots of it. But anyone who thinks it’s all about money is sadly mistaken. What it really takes is the heart, passion, commitment and dedication of hundreds of supporters.

In our incredible 2006 victory, these ingredients created the people power that overcame a 2-to-1 disadvantage in fundraising, shocking the pundits and power-brokers. I may have initially stood up and decided "enough was enough," but it was the tidal wave of people -- who decided to make a real difference and step up with time, energy, and love of country -- that created the real change.
To be sure, McNerney was a compelling candiate with the heart and guts for a tough fight, but we've all seen such candidates lose when confronted with the fundraising power and name recognition of a long-time incumbent.

McNerney won and the web was a crucial part of his success. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be analyzing McNerney's web presence as an example of online approaches that work. Check out Jerry McNerney's site for yourself and see what you and your campaign can learn from it.

--Louella Pizzuti

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