TAMPA, Fla. (WOMENSENEWS)–In the days before the 2010 midterm elections, the 72-year-old National Federation of Republican Women has been stumping–in social media-savvy 21st century-style–to secure Republican gains in the House of Representatives and Senate.
Federation President Sue Lynch can be found on YouTube urging followers to take to the airwaves and to the streets.
Candidates and their supporters are spreading the message via Twitter and Facebook.
The goal is to rally faithful GOP supporters to get out the vote for the Republicans and to change the partisan balance in the House of Representatives, where 255 lawmakers are currently Democrats and 178 are members of the GOP.
Earlier in the campaign season, the National Federation of Republican Women, headquartered in Alexandria, Va., teamed up with HeartLight Recording Studios, a production company in Wellington, Colo., to produce a six-minute video tribute to Republican women–past and present–published on YouTube.
The grassroots organization of thousands of local clubs across the United States encourages women’s participation in government and promotes Republican candidates in local, state and federal elections.
Where organizers once had to work for months to ensure that an army of volunteers licked envelopes for campaign fliers or walked door-to-door, social media sites are available through a single laptop computer and can produce the same results in a matter of minutes.
The Republican Party is supporting 47 women for the U.S. House, five for the U.S. Senate and five for governor posts.
Republican women hope to improve upon the 17 female GOP representatives in the current Congress.
In signs of a Republican Party more inclined toward female candidates–in a year when Sarah Palin plays the role of the party’s unofficial powerbroker–businesswomen Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, Carly Fiorina, ex-chief of Hewlett-Packard, and Linda McMahon, co-founder and former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, are seeking firsts for the GOP.
Nikki Haley is the GOP’s first female gubernatorial candidate for South Carolina and Whitman is the party’s first for California.
Sharron Angle is Nevada’s first female GOP Senate candidate and Kelly Ayotte, previously her state’s first female attorney general, has set her sights on becoming the first female GOP senator for New Hampshire.
Heavy Internet Help
All of them are making heavy use of Internet-assisted outreach. Whitman, who is running for governor of California, has a vibrant Facebook page with over 186,000 fans, a "Talk to Meg" online Ning community, a customized social network, and an official Meg2010 iPhone app.
Angle, who is challenging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, also boasts an Elect Sharron iPhone app and a vibrant online presence via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a campaign team blog.
House candidate for Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District Teresa Collett has a Twitter account and a Web site full of stories and links visitors are encouraged to spread via Facebook and other social media forums.
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Juliette Terzieff is a freelance writer currently based in Tampa, Fla., who has worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsweek, CNN International and the London Sunday Times during time spent in the Balkans, the Middle East and South Asia.
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Meg Whitman’s Web site:
National Federation of Republican Women President YouTube Message: