Barack Obama’s campaign is counting on a potent new weapon for Election Day, reports Bloomberg: the humble cell-phone text message. And schools and universities could learn from his example in their efforts to mobilize student support for their initiatives. Texting–an obsession of the young and a necessity for lower-income voters–might do for the Democratic presidential candidate what arm-twisting precinct captains did in years past: prod millions to get out and vote. The Obama campaign plans to use the millions of cell-phone numbers it has amassed over the past 22 months to blast its supporters with that message today. "Barack Obama is reaching a generation that is trying to change the world in 160 characters or less," said David All, a political consultant who advises Republicans on internet strategy. For nearly two years, Obama has dominated the politics of the internet, where his YouTube videos have been watched 90 million times, his social-networking site has recruited 8 million volunteers, and he has more than 2 million supporters on Facebook. The power of technology has been made clear by Obama’s advantage over the Republican nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, in terms of raising money and building an army of volunteers; the election will test whether that effort also delivers actual votes. Studies show that texting is among the most effective and cheapest ways of getting supporters, particularly younger voters, to the voting booth. During the 2006 midterm elections, young voters who were texted on Election Day were 4 percent more likely to cast a ballot, according to a study conducted by researchers at Princeton University and the University of Michigan. The cost of each vote was $1.56 compared with $32 for leafleting, which increases voting by 1.2 percent, the study said…

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