It’s July 2019, and the democratic party is rearing its head-- or 10 heads-- to entice the American people into going blue in 2020. There will be 12 democratic debates scheduled for the 2020 election season; the first round already down back in June. Did they succeed? Did they entice? Who will emerge on top in the 2020 democratic primary? Most importantly-- will their candidate be enough to dethrone the incumbent in 2020?
Why are the Democratic Debates Important?
This is arguably one of the most pivotal elections in American history so far for the democratic party. In going up against Trump a second time, the democratic part has had to reframe its identity to fit a drastically different American public.
In 2019, these debates matter because we already know who the Republican candidate is going to be: Donald Trump, the sitting president. Since the opposing party has a chance to regain the position, therefore regaining political power and imagery, the democratic party is giving this next election season all it’s got.
Hence: ten candidates. Many of them, you might already recognize.
Technology Making More of an Appearance?
Just as technology changes every election, this one is no exception. In this RoboCent blog, we’re going to be outlining how technology played a role in the democratic debate, and how we anticipate it will play a role in the 2020 election.
Above all, we’re going to analyze how certain themes of technology affect politician-to-voter interaction. Back before smartphones, people had to write letters, make phone calls from their land lines, and even show up at their representatives’ offices. Nowadays, people can send a quick tweet to get a response. This instantaneous revolution of communication has uprooted political strategy as we used to know it.
Early Technological Themes of the 2020 Fight for the Oval Office
Communication with Voters
Presidential candidates are going to use any way possible to get in contact with you and sway your vote. Some of this may come in the form of text message marketing, and some of it might come with RoboCalls, or both. Robocalls can be used to gather more information about a voter, so a candidate can best suit their needs. RoboCalls can also be used to brief voters of changes in campaign, policy, or events.
Robocalls are less time-consuming for campaigns, as they don’t have to spend hours contacting people, and can just allow a service to take care of it. They can also spread campaign rhetoric, like attack ads or positive ads about their campaign via robocall.
This type of technology is what sets the 2020 election apart. After each debate, you might even receive a robocall or two from your favorite candidate, whether it’s Trump or one of the democrats.
There is also text message marketing, which is a form of marketing that goes straight to your inbox, without a need to bother you with a phone call. Via text message marketing, candidates can schedule events with you, give you ongoing reminders, and chat with you about their platform.
2020 is going to show us how technology and campaigning actually go hand-in-hand. Just as politics adapt, political campaigns adapt with it, or they’ll be left in the dust. While the democratic party seems to be the party of progressiveness, and because of their growing youthful base, they’re more likely to continue a trend of reaching out to people via new technology.
It’s no secret that we live in a society that straddles what is in front of us, and what’s behind a phone screen. Because of this, there are many advantages and disadvantages that become of the average voter.
The social world today is greatly influenced by what you project and how you interact on social media sites. While this may be an extremely simplified explanation of the social world today, it’s pretty obvious that politicians see clout as a valuable booster to the democratic primary. After all, the dems do pull a largely liberal millennial base. Whether or not this base actually makes it out to the polls is one thing. But being popular on social media can never hurt.
For example, Vice President Joe Biden is no stranger to clout. His silly and grandfatherly liking for ice cream has turned him into a meme. His charisma as a vice president and partnership with wildly popular President Obama has crystalized him into a caricature. Whether or not he actually is a good candidate is debatable, but his positive social media persona give people a desire to like him.
The same thing goes for many of the democratic candidates, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris included.
If you have clout, people already want to like you. It’s like a new-aged popularity contest. That’s something that we are going to see resurface more intensely moving forward in the 2020 presidential election.
Social media has been used as a tool by voters to campaign for their favorite candidate, and also to spread awareness about causes. Apps like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook give voters the opportunity to directly confront a candidate. Of course, candidates choose which comments they want to respond to. But being so closely in touch with voters will force them to face issues that are important to votership.
For example: the immigration reform issue is currently one of the most prevalent. Many people on social media post ICE alerts, have been sharing news media related to issues at the border, and spreading representatives’ contact information to take action.
Social media has allowed more people to participate in activism, which makes large waves in the grand scheme of things. The more politicians are bombarded with opinions and issues, the more likely they are to act in order to gain votes.
We can see this in the democratic debate, as immigration, climate change and feminism were two extremely popular issues being discussed and resurfacing frequently.
The same goes for President Trump, who makes sure to touch on issues using social media. He is able to connect with his base and respond and make statements on issues being raised on social media. His tweets have become a part of the political discussion, even making appearances in many of the statements of the democratic hopefuls.
Just as people are using social media to promote activism, politicians are responding to this social media outcry. It’s a new way to understand the issues of the time, and it will have a big effect on how candidates choose their core issues.
Climate change was a hot-button topic that kept resurfacing throughout the democratic debate. With the relevance of climate change, we’ll also be seeing the prevalence of technology in society. Fighting back climate change means incorporating innovative, conservative technology to cut back on emissions, waste, etc.
We’ll see a lot of democratic politicians support these technologies to build a paper-free and waste-free world.
Perhaps President Trump might even respond to these dangers, despite his claims that aerosol spray won’t affect the environment as long as he sprays it behind closed doors.
Perhaps to win over more American millennials, Trump will re-frame his rhetoric about climate change. Or he will continue to push back on democrats and continue his claims of it being a hoax. Either way, the climate change debate is going to become more popular with every mention, and no one will be able to deny the technology that will come with the inevitable adaptations.
Russian collusion in the 2016 campaign has been a widely-debated topic since Trump’s election in 2016. This comes with much more talk about securing our elections, and most importantly our technology from foreign influences in the future.
Russian bots located on social media sites, influencing American opinions are a proven threat. Candidates moving forward will be forced to reconcile with technological warfare waged on the American election cycle.
This will urge candidates into facing what safety measures should be taken technologically going forward.
The Debate Itself
In recent years, moderators in both the democratic and republican primaries, on all networks, have been incorporating crowd-sourced questions for the candidates to respond to. This, like twitter but on a much larger scale and on a much more public stage.
This will give voters the feeling that their actual questions and concerns matter to the candidates, because it will give the politicians the opportunity to answer specific, and real questions.
Just as phone calls, text messages, tweets and instagram comments have shown us, we’re living in a connected world. Politicians are brought close to us, and now feel more human than ever.
This is what technology has brought to the 2020 election so far. In progressing forward, we anticipate it having an even bigger impact on the Republican candidacy, as President Trump’s notorious twitter fingers will keep him connected with his base, and the democratic base.
All in all, technology in the 2020 election will make an impact on the way we move forward as Americans by setting a precedent for future generations.