YouTube viewers pick Iowa City man to go to Democratic convention

Both major parties are sending winners of their YouTube contests to their respective conventions. For the Democratic Party, the voters have spoken.

Rich Peters of Iowa City, Iowa, explained why he's a Democrat in a simple video with a few scene changes, a dog as a prop, and straightforward analysis-- and now YouTube will fly Peters to the Democratic Convention in Denver to present his video and travel with the press pool for a day.

Viewers chose Peters' video out of five finalists presented in YouTube's video contest posing the question, "Why are you a Democrat in 2008?" The Democratic National Convention Committee picked the five finalists from hundreds of submissions. The Republican National Committee is hosting a corresponding contest, "Why are you a Republican in 2008?" but a winner has yet to be announced.

Peters' video, shown below, addresses the Iraq war, the environment, health care, and other issues. It will be shown during the Democratic convention, where Peters will get to record a video documenting Barack Obama's activities for a day.

Interest in the party conventions has waned in recent years: Nielsen Media Research showed 15.5 million homes tuned in to the Democratic convention in 2004 and 16.8 million watched the Republican convention, compared with around 20 million who watched both parties' conventions in 1992. The parties are turning to the Internet to bolster public engagement in the formal nominating processes, using Google Maps to answer questions, and podcasts to give updates on convention preparations.

 

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