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Senate Republican Committee Goes iPhone (Updated)

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 14 2010

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is boasting today that it is the first of the party political committees out of the gate with an iPhone app targeted to the fast-approaching 201o mid-term elections.

"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," said Katie Harbath, Chief Digital Strategist at NRSC, the party committee dedicated to electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate.

Indeed, the New York Times' Jenna Wortham reported today that Americans' use of talk minutes on their cell phones has stagnated while their mobile data usage -- texting, apps, email -- continues to climb.

For now, the free NRSC app available through the iTunes store has limited core functionality. There's a news feed for Republican-related updates, a guide to the candidates of both parties in upcoming Senate contests, a YouTube video feed, the ability to sign up with the NRSC's contact database, and the option to update your friends through tweet, email, and Facebook about the new app.

As the 2010 races heat up (and Republican nominees become official), says Harbath, the app will really come alive. For one thing, Republican senatatorial nominees with their own mobile apps will have those tools connected through the NRSC app, built for the NRSC by the Kansas-based firm MTB Mobile. For another, supporters of Republican candidates in the field will be able upload event photos and video.

The DNC, RNC, DCCC, and NRCC haven't yet made entries into the iTunes app store, though the White House has gone mobile.

UPDATE: The DNC/Organizing for America notes that they'll have a public iPhone (and iPad-ready) app for the 2010 vote available shortly.

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