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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slow Start to 2012: More Explanations

Gerald Seib writes in The Wall Street Journal:

One Republican campaign operative says that after the 2010 election "there wasn't a lot of political oxygen in the party for candidates to break through with interesting messages or a startling program." It seemed wise to let House GOP leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor, and new Republican governors, be the party leaders for a while.

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But the most intriguing force behind the campaign's pace lies in the way technology has changed the art and practice of both campaigning and fund-raising.

A combination of Facebook, Twitter and other online organizing tools, along with perches on the Fox News Network and other cable outlets, have given Sarah Palin, in particular, and Mr. Huckabee and Newt Gingrich plenty of exposure that allows them to gather supporters and organize virtually without having to formally declare. This new reality also gives Ms. Palin and Mr. Huckabee an incentive to continue earning money from TV contracts while waiting to decide.

Perhaps as important, the Internet is a fund-raising tool that allows candidates to quickly scoop up large amounts of money, if they strike a spark with voters, without having to rely as much on the traditional, time-consuming slog through fund-raising events night after night.