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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Campaigning Nationwide

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the early stages of the 2016 campaign, when many candidates were unknowns.  The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  We are now in the early stages of the 2020 race.

Jonathan Martin at NYT: 
Democratic presidential contenders have already combined to visit more than 30 states and territories for public events, far more than in any past nominating contest when candidates would spend the vast majority of their time in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The explosive growth of social media, the increasing diversity of the Democratic electorate and changes to the party’s electoral calendar and debate format have created more of a national primary than ever before.

The shift reflects the new imperatives driving campaign strategy. With voters increasingly consuming news online, candidates are eager to go viral, which helps build their grass-roots and small-donor networks. This has made the feedback loop between the internet and television news the most powerful tidal force in politics, prompting campaigns to approach states as would-be soundstages for specific messages they are trying to deliver and constituencies they are hoping to reach.
One sign of a successful event, according to campaign aides working in this primary: Did cable news stations televise live from the venue?
“You don’t have to be in Des Moines or Manchester to have a viral moment and if that happens you’re in front of millions of people and can raise potentially millions of dollars,” said Tad Devine, a longtime Democratic strategist.
 This focus on breaking through online will only intensify this summer as the candidates strain to accumulate the 130,000 donors required for participation in the fall debates — a threshold that puts a higher premium on news media penetration than grass-roots organization.