Tweets from Mr. McDonnell, 55, are more reserved. The campaign has been using the site to raise funds and get more supporters on Facebook. One recent example: “A little over 10,000 to reach my goal. Can you help prove that the GOP can raise money online?”
The competition to be the most tech-savvy candidate is heating up. J. Tucker Martin, communications director for the McDonnell campaign, said that while Mr. McDonnell doesn’t personally Twitter, “he said he wanted to run the most technologically adept campaign in Virginia political history.”
To that end, the campaign is using an arsenal similar to the Deeds campaign’s and has even embedded a request on campaign paraphernalia from posters to the Web site to text “Go Bob” to receive updates.
Last week, the McDonnell campaign sent out a text that “Bob McDonnell needs your help to get the word out! This weekend, volunteer locally with Bob and his campaign. For more info go to www.BobMcDonnell.com.”
By the numbers, Mr. McDonnell’s new-media campaign is out in front of the Deeds campaign. On Wednesday, Mr. Deeds had 2,170 followers on Twitter, while Mr. McDonnell had 4,046 followers. But both candidates’ numbers pale in comparison to Mr. McCain’s and represent just a tiny percentage of Virginia’s 5.8 million voters.
Facebook numbers were in Mr. McDonnell’s favor, too. Mr. Deeds had 8,867, and Mr. McDonnell had 14,174 supporters, people who have signed on to the page where they can read updates and post thoughts.
The campaigns’ new-media tactics were on display during the Democratic primary campaign. After Mr. McDonnell was safely nominated by his party, his campaign bought the search terms “Democratic Primary” and “Creigh Deeds” so that voters Googling the terms would see one of his ads. Meanwhile, Mr. Deeds’ team bought a powerful “Google Blast” or “Google Bomb” in Northern Virginia that ensured that anyone using Google-affiliated sites would see their ads.
The Deeds campaign also sent two texts reminding people to vote and used targeted ads on Facebook for the last two days of the primary campaign.
Mr. Martin said the McDonnell campaign is “leaps and bounds ahead of the campaigns and the Democrats,” but things may change.
Twitter, texting and Facebook updates aside, Ms. Sokolov said, the Deeds camp is going “to try to do more new, innovative things” for the general election campaign.
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