Chapter

2004: The Paradigm Shift

Jennifer Stromer-Galley

in Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age

Published in print January 2014 | ISBN: 9780199731930
Published online April 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199357482 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199731930.003.0004

Series: Oxford Studies in Digital Politics

2004: The Paradigm Shift

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This chapter examines the practices of the 2004 presidential campaigns. This election cycle exhibits an important shift from the mass-media campaigning paradigm to the networked media campaigning paradigm. Howard Dean’s remarkable rise in the polls and financial success came after capitalizing on the affordances of digital communication technologies (DCTs) for two-step flow. The best illustration of this paradigm shift, though, is in the candidacy of Wesley Clark, which started as a netroots movement, and eventually became a front-runner campaign. The clash between the netroots and a new way of campaigning and the campaign professionals’ historic way of mass-mediated campaigning reveals the paradigm shift. In the meantime, George Bush continued to build a comprehensive data file of offline and online voter behavior for microtargeted messaging; and, John Kerry conducted analytic testing of website design and e-mail messaging features to maximize effects. Both practices were harbingers of future election cycles.

Keywords: 2004 presidential campaign; John Kerry; George Bush; Howard Dean; Wesley Clark; digital politics; political communication; Internet; digital affordances, interactivity

Chapter.  13719 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics ; Politics

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