By Gautham Nagesh - 10/06/11 03:22 PM EDT
YouTube launched a politics channel on Thursday featuring campaign ads, speeches, parodies and unflattering "gotcha" clips of lawmakers.
"From the infamous 'Macaca' moment of 2006 to the recent Fox News/Google Debate, YouTube is a place where you can keep track of the latest political stories and connect with the candidates," said YouTube news and politics manager Ramya Raghavan.
"As the 2012 election heats up on YouTube, we want to make it even easier for you to keep your finger on the political pulse, at youtube.com/politics."
Google's online video-sharing site owns a dominant 88 percent of the online video market, making YouTube one of the largest platforms for candidates to reach voters directly. The top video on launch day was a presidential campaign ad from Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) with more than 800,000 views.
The channel also lets users examine each candidate’s YouTube stats to see who has the most video views, subscribers and shares, along with how they stack up against each other. Each candidate has dashboard from which users can subscribe to their channel to receive regular updates.