Can a candidate’s YouTube presence make a difference? Are there Undecideds out there that might happen across “Mitt Romney with a Little Face” while perusing YouTube at 2am on a weeknight and think to themselves “Yes! Decision made!” Doubtful, but sadly possible.
Of course, there are plenty of legitimate and valuable videos of speeches, debates, and interviews; but unless that video is Michelle Obama’s DNC speech, it is unlikely it will even come close to reaching an audience of almost 29 million. (The amount of views for “Obama Sings: Call Me Maybe”)
Now, the majority of voters are certainly not looking to YouTube to inform their decision, but does that make this platform just a place for silly political parodies and satire? The 47% video from Mother Jones with over 3 million views begs to differ. Politicians should be looking at this debacle and Romney’s subsequent dive in the polls as the unfortunately inelegant canary in the coal mine that it is. The internet and platforms like YouTube have had an immense effect on the democratization of information, and if our darling Duchess Kate Middleton isn’t safe from it then no one is.
So far however, this canary is still just a canary. Whether politicians will have to become more transparent and consistent remains to be seen. (It’s doubtful at best) In the meantime, do viral videos of Obama singing and Romney dancing Gangnam Style have any real bearing on this presidential race?
In our most humble opinion, after hours of tedious and dedicated YouTubeing we’ve concluded that according to YouTube, in simplest terms—Obama is cool and Romney is funny.
Do these kinds of videos actually matter in an election? Are they merely entertainment for the masses or do they reflect actual attitudes? What, if any, impact can YouTube and viral videos have on politics? Hit us up–Tell us what you think!