For every strategic action or decision made by a campaign, someone wants to know the effect and how it relates to the future. One of the greatest concerns for political analysts this year is the future of messaging, and what new trends in media consumption are indicating.
Pollsters and analysts aren’t just studying the effects of a political ad on influencing votes, but they are studying the new trends in how to deliver that message. They are busy seeing exactly who’s getting the message, and how they’re seeing it. Are they watching it during Jeopardy? On a Billboard? Or are they finding their favorite social media page or website?
This Spring, 69% of Americans will get a majority of their campaign news from Television. This is huge, but considering that in 2000, 86% of Americans said the same thing shows that Television is not as powerful as it once was. It also shows the power of the Internet, and how that trend is growing among younger generations. Many young folks, including myself, don’t have cable- the internet provides all the information we need, and often times more reliable and targeted information.
The Internet has grown as a news source for 2% of the population in 1996, to 7% in 2000, to 34% in 2012. It’s the most rapidly growing category, and it shows no sign of reducing its influence. Each cycle, its dominance has nearly doubled. New platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have made news readily available, and campaigns are implementing other platforms such as Foursquare or Rally to boost presence, fundraising, and most importantly- connect to their constituents.
Sources say that by 2016, the Internet could be the largest source of campaign news. That doesn’t even take into account the possibility that by the end of this cycle, it could rival TV or perhaps overtake it as the leading source of news. One indication that it will do so is simply a generational trend.
Americans 18-29 have net usage cornered. While 64% of them use TV for their primary source, 54% of them rely on Internet. This divide of course grows greater as groups increase in age. The gap between age groups increases with age- from an 11% difference between the 18-29 and 30-49 group, to a 15% difference between the 30-49 and 50-64 groups. The same data also shows that newspaper is a dying trend. 14% of 18-29 year olds use it for news, whereas 41% of the 65 and up crowd do.
The younger you are, the more “tech” has influenced your upbringing. As 2020 approaches, and the “Millienial” generation becomes the largest voting bloc, what will this mean for news, tech, and voting?
Well, the “door-to-door” campaign will certainly have a strong rival, that’s for sure. Politicians, and issue campaigns now have a new way to create a more effective presence and with that, they are more capable of reaching and influencing this voting segment.