A recent report from the EVoter Institute demonstrates an enormous disconnect between how the general public expects political campaigns and grassroots advocacy organizations to connect with them on the Internet and how effective campaigns et al view the Internet as a medium for getting their message out.
The report "Missing the Boat: How Political and Advocacy Communications Leaders Spend Campaign Funds," suggests that over 2/3rds of those who use the Internet for political information expect candidates and others to connect with them through blogs, video casts and the like. And yet only a very small portion of campaign budgets are going toward these approaches. Most campaign managers rate these tools as "ineffective" in getting their message out to voters. It's rather odd, since those running the campaigns use social media all the time!
I've run in to this same disconnect in the Association world. Many organizations feel that their members "won't use" social media tools. At the same time, most of their member are already using these tools in their daily life. Those Associations that are able to bridge the gap between personal and professional use will be providing their members with a tremendous service in the Web 2.0 (and 3.0 and 4.0) world -- and will manage to stay afloat in the process.
For more information about the EVoter Study, check out this article from Media Post.