Washington, Feb 10 : Candidates contesting elections spend huge amounts of money on influencing people's minds, but an increase in the use of internet has changed the entire course of action in the 21st-century elections, thanks to wrestler-turned-politician Jesse Ventura.
According to Randy Kluver, a research professor in communication at Texas A and M University, the use of Internet and World Wide Web has changed elections forever and would likely continue.
"All candidates today have to have a very solid Internet presence - there is no exception," he said.
"It is the best way they have to communicate with people and get them involved in an interactive way.
"This is especially true for the 18-to-30-year-old group that has grown up using computers. This is why many people running for office will post key information first on their Web sites," he added.
Jesse Ventura was the first one to use the Internet for major announcements, positions on key issues, fundraising and other issues during while contesting Minnesota's governor in 1998.
"The fact that he won opened up a lot of eyes because other politicians saw that this (Internet) strategy was something that could not be ignored," Kluver said.
He also believes that with the team of Web specialists and tech-savvy people, using Internet as a cheap way of getting votes is really no longer true. In fact, using the Internet can prove to be an expensive methodology.
However, Kluver believes that despite some drawbacks the Internet for politics is here to stay.
"The Internet will not save a boring campaign. But it can help a skilled candidate distinguish himself or herself from the rest of the pack," Kluver said.
"Technology happens so quickly. The Internet is a great way to get people involved, to let them enjoy the political process and to gain more supporters. But the big question is, where does it all go from here?" he added.