Santos admitted that he and his advisers had “underestimated the use of the internet” as a campaign strategy but added that “we are going to change that.”
The re-launch could be viewed as a reaction to Mockus’ unexpected surge in popularity, as reflected in voter polls. The Green Party candidate’s popularity has been attributed to his successful use of the internet as a campaigning tool.
Since the re-launch of his campaign, followers of Santos on social networking site Facebook have increased by 17%, according to El Tiempo. The right-wing candidate currently has just over 100,000 Facebook fans, while Mockus has more than 500,000.
The Partido de la U candidate is also using cell phone text messages to canvass support. Colombians only have to send the letter U to 677, and they receive a message encouraging them to check out Santos’ campaign website, which has also been relaunched.
Santos annouced a reshuffle of his campaign team on Monday. The subsequent changes to his campaign strategy have been attributed to Venezuelan spin doctor JJ Rendon, who is renowned for “playing dirty.”
Since Rendon joined the Partido de la U campaign team, several of Santos’s other advisors have resigned from the campaign, because did not want to work with the Venezuelan publicist.
Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus said Wednesday that the arrival of “bad guy” Rendon on the scene is an exercise in “psychological pressure” designed to distract the public from more important issues.