Does Howard Dean Create the Democratic Strategy for Digital Campaigning?

Hindman highlights the contributions that Howard Dean’s digital campaign brought to political science views on primary campaigns in his article, The Real Lessons of Howard Dean. Earlier research by Glaiser indicated that strategical measurements hold more importance in political campaigning than tactical measurements. Glaiser asked: how do you turn what you have into what you need to get what you want? Now, Hindman reframes the question as: How do you get citizens to donate the money you need to get the momentum necessary to stand out in the election? Hindman points out that as a democratic candidate, Dean’s interactive website was crucial in gathering momentum, because liberals are shown to interact more with political websites. Hindman stresses how large amounts of online participation by liberals lead to many small donations, which helped Dean raise more than $41 million dollars. Furthermore, Hindman argues that online interest from the Dean campaign also translated into positive press coverage and volunteers to help with the campaign. The fact that democratic candidate, John Kerry, was able to follow suit and raise a large amount of money from small contributions online indicates the possibility of a formula available to democratic candidates when gathering resources for their campaigns. Could this always translate into success for democratic candidates, even if they do not win their elections? While neither Dean nor Kerry won their elections, they were able to gather a lot more resources than they would have without the Internet. What implications does the Howard Dean digital campaigning indicate for the ambiguity of online success in politics? Does this refute Glaisers’ argument of strategy as the pinnacle of online success or strengthen it?


About brittanyverner

I am a young, enthusiastic writer and HCLF vegan cook that is new to the blogging world. I enjoy volunteering at my church, singing, traveling to Spanish speaking countries, eating healthy, doing any form of exercise, riding horses, reading fantasy/sci-fi novels, and playing Final Fantasy on my PS3.
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1 Response to Does Howard Dean Create the Democratic Strategy for Digital Campaigning?

  1. Melissa Marcus says:

    American citizens in 2004 were not completely familiarized with the internet that we know today. For the current election, the role of the internet is not ambiguous and is more straightforward. Social media sites and campaign websites allow for an efficient spread of information and interactivity between potential voters. Although a greater rate of online success for a candidate does not directly translate into a presidential win, if the internet is monitored by a candidate’s team and supporters, then it is hopeful to cause more good than harm. I think that the implications of the internet during elections strengthens Glaisyer’s argument. It is easy for anyone to have tactical success, just by the sheer amount of individuals using the internet as a method of sharing and spreading information, whether it be truthful or not. However, to ultimately succeed in the digital world, it is necessary for candidates to cautiously decide what to portray about themselves, because once this information exists on the web, the future is not solely in the candidate’s control anymore.

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