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And then by the time they got the information and the call to duty, it was already a week old," O'Malley said in an interview after his taping last week for Candidates on Demand."So the Internet's been a huge tool, webcasting's a huge tool, e-mail chains, e-mail lists are a huge tool."Comcast's Doyle sees Candidates on Demand as a way to encourage citizens to vote and TO educate them about the candidates.
As more viewers want to watch programs on their own schedule, rather than one set by the networks, the cable giant's on-demand offerings have been growing.
It features five-minute interviews, conducted by a cable news host, with candidates in 150 Maryland races."This is an opportunity for people to sit back in their own homes and watch this as a family or watch it as an individual and make decisions about who they want to vote for," said Michael A. The segments will help voters "fight through the clutter of all these ads," he said.
The programming, the first of its kind in Maryland, is being offered at a time when technology is playing an increasing role in political campaigns.
And when Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martin O'Malley was first elected Baltimore mayor in 1999, about 80 percent of the city's requests from residents came in on paper.
Today, about 80 percent are sent via e-mail, O'Malley said."Not too many years ago, in order to communicate with your supporters in a massive blanket way, you would have to make hundreds and hundreds of phone calls or lick the stamps and stuff the envelopes.
Last year, the technology was available for the New Jersey governor's race.
This year, Comcast has taped more than 500 interviews with political candidates in more than 350 races in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.
No one would confuse Comcast's show with riveting Hollywood-style drama.George Allen using the term "macaca" to refer to an opponent's volunteer was posted on You Tube."Now, even tools and technologies I would have salivated over running the Dean campaign, like You Tube, are just really even further changing the landscape where you have candidates who are sending someone around with a digicam recorder, and every time the [opponent] screws up, they're putting it on You Tube," Trippi said. Bartlett set up his office 16 years ago, the 6th District Republican didn't have e-mail.