Republican challenger’s Facebook from 250 fans to 18,000 in 48 hours

With the remarkable passing of the Health Care Reform Bill on Sunday night it seems that parties on both sides are now attempting to make the most of the fever-pitch of interest that surrounded it, including new candidates looking to make themselves known using sites such as Facebook.

It appears that Republican committees have received large influxes of cash on the back of protests against the Obama backed health bill and stories abound of members and candidates raising their profiles. One such story involves Rep. Bart Stupak, the anti-abortion Democrat, who voted for the reforms after the president signed an executive bill ensuring that no federal funds would pay for abortions.

Stupak’s Republican challenger is Daniel Benishek who declared his candidacy last week and has started to accept donations via Paypal. He said he didn’t even have a donations page set up on his website until late on Sunday night. However once Stupak made his speech people started hitting Facebook and Benishek’s Facebook site went from 250 fans to more than 18,000 within 48 hours.

Donations of $50,000 were also made overnight and a stunned Benishek declared, “Nobody expected this to happen. I wasn’t really prepared for it”. For more on this story go to This appears to be a true sign of the times and the meteoric rise of Facebook is really making its mark. Why not let us know what you think of the influence of social networking sites and its effect on politics?