It’s no secret that any successful 21st century political campaign must have a robust online strategy to succeed. But elected officials and candidates need more than just a website and a YouTube channel to engage voters: from President Obama’s YouTube interview to Senator Scott Brown’s campaign team’s use of Google Docs to Congressman Scott Murphy’s “Google blast” ad strategy, we’re seeing politicians use more and more of our products and platforms to interact with voters, share information and keep their campaigns organized.

We want to do our part to make sure candidates and campaigns have the tools to stay close to voters, who now expect to hear and see much more from their elected officials than ever before. So today, we’re launching YouTube’s You Choose 2010 Campaign Toolkit and a new and improved Google Campaign Toolkit. Both help candidates make their organizations more effective and deliver their messages more directly. On YouTube, campaigns will have access to features like a Politician channel (which allows campaigns to brand their channel and upload longer videos), Google Moderator, our free analytics tool YouTube Insight, and information about running paid advertising campaigns—using formats like in-stream ads and Promoted Videos—to reach viewers with political ads, just like on TV. And our Google toolkit demonstrates how Google Apps can keep staff and volunteers connected, how search ads can grow your email list and provides other helpful tools.

We hope campaigns in both national and local contests will use these toolkits to engage and inform voters on important issues in 2010. As access to information online is increasingly important in elections, we’re pleased to continue developing useful tools for voters and candidates.

Ginny Hunt, head of public sector programs, Google, recently watched "We are Better than That!!!!!"