The First Facebook Election?

Senator Clinton’s campaign has suddenly discovered the youth vote, which apparently means people under 44, according to the NYT:

Mrs. Clinton, after arriving here at 4 a.m. Friday, used a rally in Nashua to begin focusing on young voters and independents, two groups that flocked to the Obama banner in Iowa. She said she wanted to appeal to young people, and surrounded herself with them at the rally, in contrast to her caucus night party where older, familiar faces from the Clinton administration and her political team stood out.

As the newspaper reported:

Fifty percent of voters who were 44 and younger supported Mr. Obama in Iowa, compared with 16 percent for Mrs. Clinton, according to a poll of Democrats entering caucus sites Thursday. Over all, 52 percent of voters said they backed the candidate who would bring needed change, and Mr. Obama won 51 percent of their support.

Is this something the Clinton campaign should have seen coming? David reported about a year ago, and again in February, that Obama’s FaceBook organizing efforts dwarfed those of his competitors. I think we can all agree that most FaceBook users are under 44. By May, the largest Obama group on Facebook had 323,899 members, compared with 2,089 for the largest Clinton group (and 58,982 for the largest anti-Clinton group). The Obama group has now grown to 411,631 members. Indeed, the Obama campaign even has its own application on FaceBook that keeps supporters constantly updated with news and events related to the candidate. Several thousand people have installed it in their accounts.

Is this the first Facebook election (just as, perhaps, 2004 was the first MeetUp election — that functionality now subsumed into most campaign websites)? Perhaps Saturday’s Facebook/ABC News debate will tell us more.

UPDATE: An alert reader corrects my report that the largest anti-Clinton group has 58,982 members. The largest anti-Clinton group, “Stop Hillary Clinton: (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary),” has 673,511 members — the vast majority of them well under 44, based on their pictures.

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Sun 23 Nov 12:33 AM