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Abstract

The Internet was a major factor in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign and has become an important tool for political communication and persuasion. Yet, information systems research is generally silent on the role of the Internet in politics. In this paper, we argue that IS is positioned to enhance understanding of the influence of the Internet on politics, and, more specifically, the process of election campaigning using Internet-based technologies such as Web 2.0. In this paper, we discuss how these technologies can change the nature of competition in politics and replace or complement traditional media. Our empirical study on how Web 2.0 technologies were used by the candidates leading up to the 2008 U.S. presidential primaries sheds light on how these technologies influenced candidate performance. Finally, we outline a research agenda highlighting where IS can contribute to the academic discourse on e-politics.

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