A scholarly political science journal concluded way, way back in 2008 that effective campaigns could find a successful strategy by going after not just the motivated supervoters, but by also targeting those who don't normally vote in every election.
A quartet of political science professors writing in the March 2008 issue of Political Behavior said that "we conclude that even in high-profile, high dollar races the most important determinant of voter turnout is voter history, but that holding this variable constant reveals a positive effect for campaign communication among "seldom voters," registered but rarely active participants who-ironically- are less likely than regular or intermittent voters to receive such communication.
"In fact, we find that those with the least active political pasts are the most likely to feel the positive effects of campaign communication,'' the article written by Professors Janine Parry, Jay Barth, Martha Kropf and E. Terrence Jones.
Put simply: It helps to reach out to voters who aren't used to the attention.
There is ample evidence that this theory played itself out in the 2008 presidential campaign especially among the campaign team of Barack Obama as it utilized everything from text messages to social media to raise large amounts of money and to motivate voters, including some of those "seldom voters" like young people and African-Americans.
The Obama strategy has been followed to some extent, according to a November 2009 Wall Street Journal article written by Peter Wallsten, by Republican gubernatorial candidates who won elections last fall.
Steve Schale, the Florida state director for the Obama campaign, said that "we used every tool that was available" including even using ads on Internet videogames as a way to target college students.
But Schale said in the end he still thinks that what social media and the Internet did was make it easier to motivate people to help out the campaigns, citing for instance a program used by the campaign that would encourage volunteers to go and physically contact voters in their own neighborhoods.
"You utilize them to do the things that traditionally win campaigns,'' said Schale, adding that "banging on someone's door" can be just as effective as a candidate appearing on television. Schale adds that it also helps to have people enthused about the candidate they are working for.
Flash forward then to this year.
If you look at the numbers, former House Speaker Marco Rubio is winning the new media war so far in the U.S. Senate race.
Rubio - who has surged past Gov. Charlie Crist in the polls for the U.S. Senate - has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter and has more than 36,000 fans on his Facebook page. Rubio has posted more than 110 videos on his YouTube page, with some videos getting more than 43,000 views.
But Schale is one person who doesn't think that Rubio's success is just about his utilization of media.
He contends that Rubio is succeeding because he has plugged into a frustration among conservative voters and used it against Crist.
"It's not a field of dreams and build it and they will come,'' said Schale. "If you put the Yankees on the field you are going to have a good team."
Schale adds: "I don't think we have gotten to the point where you can create that kind of movement from social media out of whole cloth."
There are those, of course, who disagree to some extent with Schale. But if Rubio wins in the primary against Crist it will be interesting to see if it is the media or the message that gets the credit.