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The evolution of the modern political campaign has taken us from television sets in the living room to wireless new media in the hands of voters. Reaching voters with targeted messages, candidates increasingly rely on consumer-driven techniques. What works at the national level can be tailored to work even more effectively at the individual level. Future campaigns will continue to make use of recent innovations like meet-ups, blogs and Internet polling. Newer tactics such as fundraising on the web and get-out-the vote drives with micro-targeting via Blackberrys and PDAs are changing the way candidates advertise, ask for money, interact with the media, co-ordinate with their party organizations and make the most of interest group support. What, then, are the implications for the democratic process and governance? To help students make sense of how and why campaigns are changing, well-respected scholars and practitioners keep their focus on the horizon of campaigning and offer a cutting-edge look at what to expect in the 2008 elections and beyond.

Social and New Media—An Evolving Future
Social and new media—An evolving future
MichaelTurk

As campaigns have evolved over the years, changing media platforms have challenged the unprepared and presented opportunities to the bold and innovative. The story of the first televised presidential debate in 1960—the clean-shaven John Kennedy sparring with the scruffy Richard Nixon—has become the stuff of legend. Those listening via radio gave the win to Nixon; those watching television scored it for Kennedy.1 In the end, the Nixon campaign was caught flat-footed by the new technology and paid the price by a defeat of 100,000 votes out of 68 million cast.

As a medium for disseminating information, the Internet is unrivaled in the modern communications era. Breaking stories today routinely pop first on the Internet, and ...

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