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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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2012: Data-Driven Networked Campaigning

2012: Data-Driven Networked Campaigning

(p.140) 6 2012: Data-Driven Networked Campaigning
Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age

Jennifer Stromer-Galley

Oxford University Press

The 2012 presidential candidates refined proven practices and ran the most data-driven campaigns in history. The candidates deployed social media, strategic online ad buys, and their websites as the cornerstones of their campaign practices in the increasingly complex, hybrid media environment. Obama’s and Romney’s campaigns produced a variety of tactics to interact with supporters in a way that suggested that controlled interactivity had been perfected. They built massive voter files to target the usual demographic groups while expanding to new groups typically unreached by campaigns, and conducted careful message testing to yield maximum effect. Yet for the carefully scripted work to structure interactivity between supporters and the campaign and among supporters to greatest advantage for the candidate, a substantial challenge remained: how to manage messaging in the complex, hybrid media environment where gaffes and opposition discourse can be amplified in ways unintended and with unknown consequences for campaigns.

Keywords:   2012 presidential campaign, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, digital politics, political communication, Internet, digital affordances, interactivity, social media

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