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Infographic: Politics in the Age of Social Media
Social networking, blogging, online video, and Internet activism are set to play a bigger part in the 2012 presidential race than ever before.
When it comes to the arena where modern political battles are won and lost, the Internet toothpaste is well out of the tube and oozing all over the place. You simply can’t run a viable presidential campaign without a presence onlinewhat’s amazing is how rapidly this has become an unimpeachable truth.
Blogging was in its infancy during the 2000 presidential election, but by the 2004 tilt between George W. Bush and John Kerry, the candidates were hiring prominent political bloggers to help manage their online campaign efforts.
Four years later, Barack Obama rode a wave of newly engaged voters to victory, helped along mightily by “Netroots” bloggers and emerging social media communities, not to mention a steady diet of online videos, the best of which hit YouTube and went viral in the amount of time an old media TV or radio spot would be struggling to emerge from the planning stages.
The impact of the Internet hasn’t been limited to presidential election. In 2006, Democrats swept to a landslide victory in the mid-term elections as progressive online activists created new and powerful tools for fundraising, messaging, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Conservatives returned the favor in 2010 as the Tea Party seemingly sprung up overnight, leveraging online communication tools to forge another power-shifting moment in American politics.
The smart money says this year’s presidential candidates will be more dependent than ever before on strong online campaigns. A new infographic (below) from MDG Advertising chronicles the incredibly rapid shift from old media to new as the engine that has driven recent political campaigning.
And the trend is gaining major steam in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election.
Social media played a big part in the 2008 presidential race, MDG Advertising notes, but Twitter was just getting started back then and even Facebook had a lot less reach than it does today. Now nearly half of all U.S. voters between the ages of 34 and 55 say they’ll be using social networking sites to find news, information, and discussions about the presidential campaigns.
By Damon Poeter, PCMag