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New media battleground challenges convention


July 10, 2019 by admin

Last Friday week Mitt Romney made a stupid mistake at 12.23pm before a home town crowd.”No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate,” he said, inadvertently or otherwise associating himself with the dark and loony fringe of his party who still believe President Barack Obama is a Manchurian candidate from Kenya or Indonesia. We know exactly when it happened because within 60 seconds of the words leaving his lips they were tweeted by a Washington Post reporter, and within four minutes of that tweet Politico had the comments online.(Politico also ran an excellent breakdown of the events that I am stealing this timing from.) By 12.41pm the segment of the speech had been loaded onto YouTube and Romney’s campaign had responded. Three minutes later, Obama issued a statement lamenting the comments.That is, at this election candidates and their staff – not to mention the journalists following them – are working to 21-minute news cycles. No wonder they look so tired.The implications of online campaigns are still becoming apparent to the parties and the reporters, not to mention the vast vulture industry that feeds on the whole circus. This year it is estimated that a billion dollars will be spent on TV ads, but it is not quite clear that they are having the impact they once would have.Either way, you can bet that the new media innovations warping the US 2012 campaign will be deployed during Australia’s next general election. Australian political consultants always closely watch American elections.At a forum held yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina – the town that has just been taken over by the Democratic National Convention – political reporter Major Garrett of the National Journal, which co-hosted the event with The Atlantic, noted that the oceans of money spent on TV ads might not have bought the attention the campaigns expected.According to a survey, people likely to vote in the upcoming election watched 20 hours of video in the past week, but half of that was either watched on DVR or direct streaming. Even more disconcerting – at least to campaign strategists and TV networks – of the 40 per cent of viewers in the key states of Florida and Ohio who watched coverage recorded on DVR or streamed, 90 per cent said they skipped the ads.Meanwhile, many of those who do watch major campaign events – such as Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech or Clint Eastwood’s debate with a stool – do so with one eye on a second screen, a laptop or handheld device.The result, says Garrett, is that we may learn by the end of this campaign that traditional advertising is not working. This could go some way to explaining some apparently contradictory polls that have come out. A Gallup poll found that only 38 per cent of respondents thought Mr Romney’s speech was good or excellent, a figure lower than the past eight acceptance speeches.Moreover, Gallop found the whole Republican Convention had very little impact on voting intentions. Nonetheless, the Huffington Post’sPollster苏州美甲学校 found Romney had crept to within a tenth of one percentage point of Obama nationally.It is too soon to draw conclusions from new media and polling data regarding the Republican National Convention, says Twitter’s head of government, news and social innovation, Adam Sharp, but he notes spikes in approval in mentions in Twitter traffic appear to be presaging polls.It could be that parts of the electorate are bypassing advertising and making their decisions based on recommendations via social media. During the forum, Facebook’s head of policy said research showed that recommendations via social media on purchases carried far more weight with consumers than advertising, and it was likely this would be reflected in political decision-making.According to The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Rute, who addressed the forum, 40 per cent of the online traffic was now coming from social media recommendations. The campaigns are not waiting to find out and have thrown themselves into the new media.Joe Rospars, the Obama campaign’s chief digital strategist, said the Obama campaign was maintaining a presence across at least eight social media venues, including the recent Q and A the President conducted on Reddit苏州美甲学校. He said a new smartphone app allowed supporters to become Obama organisers on the spot, looking up numbers for people to call and seek support or streets to door-knock.Sharp said analysis of Twitter traffic showed that the discussion viewers might once have had with one another as paid pundits began their “post-game” analysis of the major speeches had already spiked and ended before the speaker left the stage.Before Clint Eastwood had finished muttering at the empty stool during the Tampa convention, the President had responded via Twitter, with a picture of himself at his desk in the Oval Office with the caption “This seat is taken”.But Sharp said the scale of Twitter meant politicians who had lost immediate connections with voters as a result of growing population were now able to make direct contact with them again via Twitter.

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