Research on reduced turnout and voter cynicism highlight the disengagement and disconnection of society from elected politicians and politicians are not ignoring this fact. There is a lot of rhetorical lip service paid to the notion of being connected as well as real initiatives for achieving this. Barack Obama is someone that has played the connectedness card throughout the campaign, he is one of the people not the elite and it is they, not the lobbyists and corporate donors that fund his campaign!
To reinforce this idea he has a new initiative as the primary race hots up. It is a survey that asks his supporters to: "Strengthen your connection to our campaign and help us connect you with organizers in your local community. Take a few minutes to complete this short survey". the idea seems to be that he wants to gain an aggregation of the issues that concern his supporters most in order to build a more relevant set of messages.
The theory is that the greater the relevance the greater the attention paid and thus an increased amount of perceived connectedness between him and his supporters. A plan that may have some success! A key tenet of marketing is knowing what your consumers want, this is applying such notions to politics, at the very least at the point of deciding what messages to communicate, and perhaps even to design the messages as well. However it sets up high expectations of the nature of Obama as a President; ones that could create false hope surrounding the nature of change in style that may occur if he is elected.