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Shop Talk: YouTube Goes Political

YouTube just launched a politics page that will track campaign ads, parodies, “gotcha” moments and speeches related to the 2012 elections.

The newly revamped YouTube Politics channel — — allows viewers to see which candidates are “surging” or “falling flat” on YouTube, according to a press release. Web surfers can dig through a candidate’s YouTube video statistics, including views, subscribers and shares, and compare them to those of other candidates.

“As the 2012 election heats up on YouTube, we want to make it even easier for you to keep your finger on the political pulse. … There’s a long way to run in the 2012 electoral race, but one thing’s for sure — there will be some unforgettable YouTube moments along the way,” the press release stated.

Turnover at Florida GOP

The Florida Republican Party named Mike Grissom as executive director, the latest shake-up for the party that will host the Republican National Convention next year and that moved up its presidential primary to Jan. 31.

Grissom replaces Andy Palmer, who is leaving his second stint as executive director to join the consulting firm of Metz Husband & Daugthon. Palmer’s exit followed the recent death of Chairman Dave Bitner, who was replaced by Lenny Curry.

Grissom has served as Palmer’s deputy since January. He previously served as an adviser to Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) campaign last year, as field director for Bill McCollum’s (R) gubernatorial campaign and as Michigan victory director for the Republican National Committee in the 2008 cycle.

“As deputy executive director, Mike worked alongside Andy Palmer to lay the groundwork for the Party’s 2012 victory plan and played an integral role in the planning and execution of Presidency 5,” Curry said in a statement. “I am confident that his experience in that position will ensure a speedy and seamless transition.”

GSG Goes West

Global Strategy Group is breaking into the West with the hire of Jonathan Brown as vice president and West Coast director. Brown joins GSG from California-based polling and strategy firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

Brown has worked there since 2005 as a pollster and senior strategist. The firm’s clients included California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), several Members of Congress and state legislators, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) during her 2010 re-election bid.

Speaking of GSG

Global Strategy Group is also celebrating its recent polling work for West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D), who won a special election last week. A GSG press release touted the polling of Jefrey Pollock and James Delorey and strategic research conducted by Chris Allen.

It also congratulated other consultants working for Tomblin, including Karl Struble of Struble Eichenbaum Communications, Joe Hansen of AMH, John Rohrbach of Bullseye Interactive and Jon Hutchens of Media Strategies.

Tomblin’s campaign manager was Joe Shafer, who also helped the party win a couple of special elections last cycle in Pennsylvania and New York as the Northeast regional political director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Silver State Battle

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who wants to make Nevada competitive in the GOP presidential primary, announced two top staffers in the state.

Jeremy Hughes, who previously worked for Kentucky Rep. Geoff Davis (R), will serve as state director, and Kristin Vieira, a deputy director at the Nevada GOP last cycle, will be deputy state director. Vieira previously served as former Nevada Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s (R) northern field director.

“I am excited to be expanding our campaign operation into Nevada and have full confidence in Jeremy and Kristin as they take the helm of our efforts in this important state,” Perry said in a statement.

Nevada moved up its presidential caucuses to Jan. 14 to keep its early-state status. However, the Republican National Committee will likely take away half of its convention delegates as punishment for moving into January.

Another Pawlenty Castoff

GOP presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) named Bill Cahill as his New Hampshire co-chairman and senior adviser.

Cahill, a former state Representative and executive councilor, will work with Claira Monier to lead Santorum’s operations in the state. Cahill was a steering committee member on former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s now-defunct campaign.

“Bill is an esteemed member of the New Hampshire community and I look forward to working with him as we move toward victory in the First-in-the-Nation primary!” Santorum said in a statement.

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