Dems, GOP take 2010 campaign fights to iPhone and iPad

Democratic and Republican strategists are poised to take their campaign battles to the iPhone and iPad ahead of this year's tough midterm elections.

As smartphone popularity continues to grow exponentially -- with 2009 marking the first time consumers used phones for data more than calls -- strategists seem to agree the newest trench in political warfare is none other than the mobile device.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) was the first party organization out of the gate with an iPhone app, released last Friday. The tool allows users to follow GOP Senate races with the help of a feed aggregates Republican campaign news across the NRSC's Twitter, Facebook and blog pages.

The app also includes Senate race descriptions, video archives and ways for users to receive more campaign information and share it with friends.

"So many more people are using mobile, using iPhones and other smart phones, and now the iPhone will be going to Verizon -- [the audience for the NRSC app is] that sort of market of folks who are dropping their landlines and using their mobile phones for connecting more and more," Katie Harbath, Chief Digital Strategist at NRSC, told TechPresident last week. (It is not clear, however, if and when the iPhone might migrate to Verizon.)

However, the Democratic National Committee soon plans to one-up the NRSC: A spokeswoman told Hillicon Valley on Monday that the DNC is planning its own campaign app, available on both the iPhone and iPad.

That tool, due out this summer, will offer Democratic voters "news updates and access to the latest election information along with a variety of other features," said the DNC's Brandi Hoffine.

“The Obama campaign and its successor Organizing for America has prided itself on being on the cutting edge technologically with respect to engaging and involving Americans in politics and in helping pass the president’s agenda for change across all types of mediums and platforms," she said.