Texas political campaigns are increasingly turning to new media

AUSTIN, Texas — Holding courthouse rallies and kissing babies? That's old-school.

Twenty-first century politicians are increasingly turning to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get their message to the voters — particularly the younger generation.

Gov. Rick Perry and his probable Republican primary challenger, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, are relying heavily on Internet venues, as are scores of other Texas politicians. Perry describes the new media as a "game changer."

"Social media, I will suggest, is going to do the same thing to communications that the Internet 10 did years ago," Perry said in a brief interview last week just after posting photos from a ceremonial bill signing on his Twitter site.

With the state's 2010 election season already unfolding, candidates for virtually every office are tweeting and friending across the Internet, emulating techniques that helped propel Barack Obama into the White House.

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