Increase in Internet Campaigning Predicted for 2012
Since the early 1950s, political campaigns have allocated a large portion of their budget to advertising on television and radio outlets. However, as the political cycle looks ahead to the 2012 election, campaigns will devote a good deal less money to running 30- second TV ads and a good deal more to using the Internet to organize, persuade, motivate and raise funds. The trend toward Internet campaigns can be largely attributed to the change in where people are now getting their election information. A study released by the Pew Research Center showed that the Internet nearly surpassed newspapers as a source for election news in the last presidential race. The prediction for 2012 is the Web will likely eclipse newspapers and close in on TV as the principal source of election news.
Additionally, the Internet makes it likely that more campaigns will be self-directed from the grass roots. Campaign managers will have to rely less on activity in centralized headquarters and more on volunteers—working at their pace and in their way—to reach voters on their laptops, tablets and smart phones. This will allow candidates and causes to take advantage of brief moments in the spotlight to increase awareness, organize and raise money virtually overnight.
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