How the Internet has Changed Political Campaigning


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There is no two ways about it, the internet has changed political campaigning. We have seen a major shift in the way that politicians are campaigning. While traditional methods will never fully go away and still serve a purpose, digital is quickly becoming king. This was evident back in 2016 when Donald Trump spent 50% of his campaign budget on his quest to become POTUS. Before then, campaigns would use around 15-20%. It was a bold move that obviously paid off when he won the election. So let’s take a look at how the internet is changing the way our politician’s campaign:

·        Cost

While every statistic shows that campaign costs have increased over time, there are specific situations that show the internet can help cut back on costs. One study found that Trump received $4.6 billion in free media coverage. Of that $3 billion came from blog posts, online news, forums and social media. The internet allows politicians to get free press, rather than going down more traditional methods of advertising.

·        Reach

It takes just one social media post for a politician to reach millions of voters. This is all a result of the rise of the internet. Go back twenty years and politicians would have to dedicate countless time, effort and money and still wouldn’t be able to reach the amount of people that a single tweet would today. This has made it a vital tool in political campaigning. Something that more and more politicians are starting to realise.

political campaigning

·        Political Campaigning: Data

Political campaigns rely on studying the personality of the voter. They need to know what they can do in order to get that particular group of people to vote for them. The internet has made this so much easier. People will post their whole lives online. Meaning that political campaigns can study this data in order to plan their next move.

·        Engagement

It’s easier now than ever before for politicians to engage with the voter, especially the younger generations. You are easily able to answer questions on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Rather than just one person seeing your answer, millions will. This can swing both ways – get the answer wrong and it can be catastrophic, get it right and it can win voters.

political campaigning

·        Participation

Thanks to the internet, more people are participating in politics than ever. No longer do they have to go outside to take an active role in their favourite politician’s campaign. For example, there were over 400,000 blog posts in support of Obama back in 2008. These numbers will only grow over time as people can access the internet at a moment’s notice.

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