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Democrat Takes White House in 2007 Virtual Campaign for President
Nov 13, 2007 (08:11 AM EST)

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A moderate Democrat from Idaho has won the 2007 virtual campaign for President of The United States at Lane Startin, a 34 year old father has won the virtual general election. Startin emerged at the top of more than 3000 average Joe candidates to win the race in a 3 way runoff. The 2007 contest began in February and more than 650,000 votes were cast to narrow the field to the top Republican, Democrat and Independent. On many issues Startin is a traditional Democrat. He supports gay marriage, is pro-choice, favors legislation to encourage reduction of green house gases, and notes civil liberties and education as two of his most important priorities. He was able to garner Republican support by opposing new legislation on gun control, and reducing the size and scope of the federal government where he feels the private sector can better perform the task. The virtual president elect supports Bill Richardson for President of The United States in 2008. Startin chose a more liberal Democrat, Mark Turner from Arlington Texas as his virtual running mate. A very strong challenge by an Independent candidate made the race close, while division among the Republicans on the site relegated them to third place.

The lesson for the real politicians may not be so much in moderation, as it is in taking a stand for issues that appeal to groups with large backing. Instead of moderating on every issue, and trying to win the votes of all the voters individually, Startin took strong positions that appealed to larger groups of voters. By moderating on gun control and taxes he effectively blocked traditional Republican attacks and was able to sway enough moderates to win the election.

The 2008 campaign contest has just begun, and potential candidates will have access to a new feature that helps to predict their chances of political success in the real world. The site uses a new algorithm called "Candidate Rank" that gives candidates a higher score based on the number of times they comment, the unique nature of their debate, and other on-line factors that can be loosely tied to real world politics. One of the more effective has been measuring not just the number of supporters a candidate has on his profile, but the candidate rank of his supporters. Seventy-five percent of the score is still based on a rating given by other site members, with Candidate Rank comprising the other twenty-five percent. Users can also create their own political editorials to help get their message out, and Caucuses to debate issues and help to develop more in-depth positions based on reaction from other candidates. Candidates compete in weekly "primaries" to earn a chance at the yearly general election held every November.

Startin has also formed an exploratory committee and is seriously considering a run for governor of Idaho. His profile at U4prez is under the username Faustus37.

CONTACT: Eric Gurr of, +1-513-779-7119,

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