The Democrats won the presidential race because they drove up their voter turnout by campaigning like Santa Claus with a smart social-media strategy, while the Republicans fired bird-shot blindly into the sun. Foreign newspapers even claim President Obama was re-elected by an illiterate society.
As a conservative strategist, it is clear to me that Mitt Romney’s single-issue, tightly scripted campaign was no match for the Democrats’ strategy of a multiple-issue, liberal-inducements campaign. Urban, immigrant and off-the-grid voters raved about free contraceptives, more generous college loans and “free Obama phones” over social-media channels.
Republicans waged an awful, publicly humiliating primary bloodbath –– fundraising, collecting voter data and campaigning the good ol’ hard way. They need a pair of interchangeable candidates positioned long before the 2016 primaries who are capable of being more interesting than Bill and Hillary and are running at least eight points ahead of them in all the battleground states, since Republicans will drastically underestimate actual voter turnout via social media’s reach, again.
Last minute decision-makers live bustling, chaotic, demanding and socially mobile lives. Busy Americans commute and work gazing quietly into smart phones, tablets and computer screens –– not televisions. Socially mobile voters don’t even open junk mail or take robotic land-line calls. Modern technology allows ugly political ads to be skipped, rendering massive GOP investment in TV ads useless and even damaging due to social-media reverberation.
Conservative social-media strategy is still in its infancy. Obama-Biden won each battleground state with a diverse, targeted social-media campaign. The extent to which hand-held social media farms for new voters at the granular level –– without showing up in traditional polling data –– cannot be ignored.
Baron Christopher Hanson