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Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age$
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Jennifer Stromer-Galley

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199731930

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731930.001.0001

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2008: Networked Campaigning and Controlled Interactivity

2008: Networked Campaigning and Controlled Interactivity

(p.104) 5 2008: Networked Campaigning and Controlled Interactivity
Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age

Jennifer Stromer-Galley

Oxford University Press

If the 2004 presidential campaigns demonstrated a paradigm shift as mass-mediated campaigning gave way to digital media campaigning, which in turn changed the power dynamic between supporters and campaigns, the 2008 election was about learning to control supporters through networked interactivity to the campaign’s greatest advantage. The Obama campaign built upon not just the innovations from 2004, but also upon the earlier practices from 2000 and 1996, establishing an effective digital media strategy for fundraising and organizing. Other candidates, especially Democratic primary candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican primary candidate Ron Paul, experimented with and centralized DCTs as key components of their campaigns. The financial disadvantage John McCain had with Obama in the general election was substantial. McCain’s campaign had little choice but to focus on tried-and-true mass-mediated campaigning, and could not effort to fully build out DCTs to work to its advantage.

Keywords:   2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul, digital politics, political communication, social media, digital affordances, two-step flow, interactivity

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