Every four years politicians vie for media attention, travel country-wide for votes and charm those on the fence. But what sets this election cycle apart?
Veteran political strategist Joe Trippi chimed in with the answer, “It’s the network, stupid” at a Social Media Week event addressing social media, elections and the battle for Internet dominance, along with Washington Post political reporters and bloggers.
Trippi was riffing off James Carville’s old quote, but he has a point. Social media presence in political campaigns increased by 78% since the 2008 election, according to Cristina Bell, senior analyst at Experian Hitwise.
Washington Post political correspondent Karen Tumulty addressed the rapid pace of news flow with social media in the mix. “The bubble doesn’t exist anymore,” she said. Tumulty said she realized it burst after a four-day bus trip following Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Trippi spoke to a similar loss — the spin room, where reporters used to meet with candidates before or after debates. The spin room has gone the way of the dinosaur, he says; all the debate and conjecture happens in real time on Twitter.
As the fight for the Internet continues, how do you think the budding social media relationship between politicians and their audience will affect a political reporter’s job?