Where are the Voters?

Rob Meltzer

Peter Chianca answers that question thusly in the MetroWest Daily News:

“The special election to fill John Kerry’s U.S. Senate seat is less than a month away, and with such an abbreviated campaign season, let’s face it: There’s only one way the candidates are going to make their voices heard. No, not through thoughtful, well-reasoned newspaper op-eds — nobody reads newspapers. They’re going to have to do it through Facebook, because that’s where everybody is.”

Well, I disagree. I am a likely voter. I don’t do Facebook. I didn’t know until I read Peter’s piece that candidates even use Facebook. As one of the people who plans to vote, and since I’m going to cross party lines to vote for Markey, I’m hardly a nobody in the sense that nobody reads newspapers and everybody is on Facebook. I get almost all my news from newspapers. I’ve been talking to a number of voters about Peter’s assertion, and I’ve learned a few things in the past day. First, Facebook may be widely used, but it is increasingly viewed by younger people as uncool, and it certainly is not the first choice for younger people to go to evaluate candidates, even if they are likely voters. Second, older voters, and by that I mean people my age (40 and up) reject the notion of Facebook as a substitute for campaigning. Older voters, and that means lots of likely voters, still want to be asked for their votes. One of the reasons I voted for Dan Winslow is that he personally shook my hand and asked for my vote and, since no one else did, I had no problem voting for him.

So I put this out to our community. When it comes to the election in three weeks, does Facebook really matter?