Youtube.com, the internet’s leading video sharing site, officially launched “You Choose” yesterday, creating an official home for presidential candidate videos. The site has long been used by both political junkies and candidates to highlight speeches and media appearances by and about various politicians.The current You Choose offerings include John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Dennis Kucinich, John McCain, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Rudy Giuliani and if page views are any indication, Obama is on the way to the White House. He has over 71,000 views compared to over 20,000 views for both Clinton and Edwards. All other candidates have considerably less.

The big question, though, is does this matter? While we’ve seen how effective internet-active politicos are at raising money, we’ve yet to see “netroot” activism translate into any meaningful electoral victories. After some pretty impressive trailblazing in internet politics, Howard Dean crashed and burned in 2004. Last year, internet activists were successful in wresting the CT Democratic Senate nomination away from Joe Lieberman, but Ned Lamont and his online support team could not sustain that advantage in the primaries when Lieberman opted to run as an independent.

But this could possibly make the difference. Youtube has become an internet phenomenon. Alexa, a service that ranks web traffic, says Youtube is the sixth most visit site on the web. Candidates taking advantage of You Choose are likely to see results. The jury, however, is out on whether those results will translate into votes at the polls.

(For Centrist news and opinion, visit DonkeyDigest) 

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