Lawn signs are not about to disappear, but these Elk Grove candidates are using new means to reach young voters

October 14, 2018 |

Manufacturers of the ever-present political mailers and political road and lawn signs probably do not need to worry about going out of business, but candidates are increasingly using other methods to convey their messages.

Aside from using direct website and Google placement of ads that Tracie Stafford and Darren Suen are deploying in their mayoral bids, at least four Elk Grove-based candidates are also using the popular social media platform, Instagram.

In the last several days Stafford, Suen, Jaclyn Moreno, who is running for one of two open seats on the Cosumnes Community Services District board of directors, and Andres Ramos, candidate for the District 2 seat of the Elk Grove City Council have gone to Instagram to promote their respective campaigns.

This weekend alone, Moreno and Ramos have sponsored ads on Instagram. In their ads, which are posted below, have differing messages, are nonetheless aimed at the youth vote on the mobile- device-based social media platform which is popular with a younger demographic.

The popularity of the platform with younger voters was demonstrated by a recent endorsement announced on Instagram by Taylor Swift. The pop star, who has 112 millions followers, urged voters in her home state of Tennessee to support Democratic candidates.

Following her announcement, registration for young voters surged according to

"Taylor's post has helped bring out young voters," the nonprofit stated a press release. "We're especially happy to see that because we know voting is habit-forming." 

While the surge helped registration, turning new registrants into voters is another matter. Opinions on whether young voters will show up at voting booths on a national basis are mixed. 

While younger users dominate Instagram, and Millenials prefer Democratic candidates, which would help Stafford, Ramos, and Moreno, there is some doubt they will turn out at higher rates that the entire population of voters.

In California's 7th Congressional District, which includes all of Elk Grove, the website predicts voters turnout here will meet national averages. The predicted turnout is expected to be 45.2-percent, which is in the national median range.

If candidates find the use of Instagram helps generate more interest and votes with a younger demographic group during this cycle, political ads on the social platform could become as common and mailers and lawn signs in the all-important 2020 Presidential elections. Regardless of the results, at least the Instagram posts will not need to be cleaned up after the elections are done.   

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