If Creigh Deeds manages to pull off a victory in today’s race for Virginia governor, it won’t be because Republican Bob McDonnell was slack online. In fact, McDonnell’s internet campaign has been impressively comprehensive, meaning that state and local candidates can look to it as a model for applying the lessons of 2008. Let’s look at a few of the critical things he’s done right so far:
McDonnell’s site is excellent from start to finish, with a BarackObama.com-inspired visual style, clear organization and plenty of ways for supporters to get involved. The site works hard to turn visitors into activists through a prominent signup/toolkit section with clear action links — “get a yard sign” or “attend a fundraiser,” for instance, rather than something vague like “get involved” — while also highlighting recent videos, blog posts, campaign news and the campaign’s social media channels. A couple of other notable features: a find-your-local-volunteer-office page, a virtual phone bank and as election day neared, a Google Maps-based find-your-polling-place application.