Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Digital Campaign Trail Is Where Elections Are Now Won Or Lost


Underscoring the consensus that Martha Coakley couldn't be bothered to work to get the Massachusetts Senate seat that she appears to have thought was hers by dint of being a Democrat is this statistic from Politico:

[Republican candidate Scott] Brown has made 66 campaign stops since the primary, while Coakley has made only 19, as of Sunday.

Dave Weigel, who's up in Massachusetts covering the election for the Washington Independent today, adds an important observation:

Typically, a front-running campaign might hold fewer events to minimize the snafus that might occur and affect the race. The incredible thing about Coakley's verbal and visual stumbles is that none occurred while stumping in Massachusetts.

So the work that Coakley was willing to do wasn't done very well.

Elsewhere, Christina Bellantoni sizes up the online operations of both campaigns and finds that Brown used technology -- specifically modeled on Barack Obama's campaign effort -- in a far more seamless and effective fashion than Coakley. Bellantoni cites myriad examples, but what sticks out in my mind is this:

The new PDA application Brown launched Monday tied to his "voter bomb" effort puts a walk list in the palm of supporters' hands.

The text message effort mimics the Obama effort last fall. Here's Brown's latest: "Are you taking the day off of work tomorrow to help Scott Brown win? Sign up here to get a walk list on your smart phone:"

The Coakley text message program also is run by the DNC and voters can get their polling place. The number is the same one Barack Obama used to announce Joe Biden as his choice for vice president.

TPMDC texted the Coakley campaign address as a test and received an error message that the polling place locator program couldn't identify the location.

The Obama campaign very skillfully deployed all manner of technology to build, stoke, and maintain voter enthusiasm. This race suggests that the Democrats have regressed significantly here, while the Brown campaign, at least, has made up the ground.

* Political Campaign Opportunities in the Digital Age

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