What Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney should learn from Paul (and Obama) about the internet

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Today is a different world when it comes to political campaigns. A decade or two ago given the same candidates of today with the same scenarios but a less-prevalent internet, Ron Paul would be in single-digits in the early primaries and Rick Perry (and possibly Herman Cain) would still be alive and well. Mitt Romney would have a commanding lead and Santorum would have placed 3rd or 4th in Iowa instead of winning it.

The internet has completely changed the way that candidates get their message out. It has completely changed the virility of news and opinions. It has completely changed the impact of the campaign dollar.

Ron Paul is still a contender because he has masterfully played the internet like a 35-year-old tech geek instead of a 76-year-old politician. If any of the 6 other candidates that were in the race a month ago had the same skills, the race would be nothing like it is today after Gingrich’s win in South Carolina.

 

Social media and politics

There is little doubt that political social media is a driving force in amplifying messages positive and negative surrounding the candidates. Herman Cain is the only victim of this year’s presidential race who could not have changed his fate by using social media. All of the others who have dropped out would have had a chance of making a stronger impact if they had been working social media for the past year the way that Ron Paul and his supporters have done for a long time.

Social media is two-fold. It is obviously a place where people go to express their own opinions and hear the opinions of others, but it’s also a barometer that mainstream media uses to gauge sentiment. After every debate so far, there has been a mention of Twitter and Facebook.

After the Fox News South Carolina debate earlier this week, Twitter was a focal point. Ron Paul was the only candidate who showed positive sentiment across the board. Mitt Romney, who went into the debate with a commanding lead, failed on Twitter in every subject.

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Is this reality, or is it “Ron Paul Bots”? It’s likely a mixture of both, particularly in this case where the question being asked on the topics was about whether or not the candidate dodged the question or answered it. Agree or disagree with Ron Paul’s policies, nobody doubts that he says what he means and means what he says.

Some will say that his lack of a victory means his social media tactics aren’t working. On the contrary, I would contend that it’s because of his social media mastery that he’s still in the conversation at all.

 

SOPA opposition

Ron Paul SOPA

There were only two people running for President who voiced opposition to SOPA and PIPA before the South Carolina CNN debate Thursday: Ron Paul and Barack Obama. Paul was also the only GOP candidate who participated in the SOPA Blackout. Had any of the other candidates sent out a simple Tweet in opposition on Wednesday, they would have received free publicity and air time on television. Instead, they were silent and the opportunity passed.

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum had a “wait and see” approach to SOPA. Once they saw that the protest was approved by most Americans, they echoed the public’s view during the debate the following day. Mitt Romney gave luke-warm opposition and used gentle language so as not to risk any campaign dollars that might head his way (despite most dollars in Hollywood being slated for Obama). Ron Paul has been opposing PIPA and SOPA from the beginning.

Written by JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of both Judeo Christian Church and Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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4 Comments »

 
#1
Morgan Johanson
January 23rd, 2012 at 12:30 pm

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.
William Morris.

 
 
#2
norman binkier
January 25th, 2012 at 2:00 am

for all to read: The teacher does not stop to prove each theory or fact. The message is delivered whether his hearers agree with him or not. He does not care whether they all agree with him or not, for he feels sure those who are ready for the truth he teaches will recognize it, and for the others, if they are not prepared to receive the truth, no amount of arguement will help matters. The teacher knows that much of his teaching is but the planting of seed which will grow and be recognized only after the lapse of time. Henry T. Moray. End suppresion, and give us liberty or be forgotten.

Dr. Paul for president 2012

 
 
#3
Guy Silvernale
January 25th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

The other candidates have much to learn from Dr. Paul but it has nothing to do with the internet. Dr. Paul delivers a message. His supporters know where he stands, we know how he will vote before he actually votes. He is honest, principled, and uncorruptible! If you hold these qualities while in office for thirty years, vote your conscious while all the others were persuaded to vote for war in Iraq, indefinite detention, and the patriot act, you will gather a following of fervent supporters who hold those same principles. Then those supporters, will spread your message across the world, and defend their candidate on every corner of the internet. Dr. Paul doesn’t have an internet strategy, he has a base of dedicated young supporters who us their most powerful tools to voluntarily spread his message!

 
 
#4
Joe
January 25th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

And Obama?  Haven’t you seen the story where his administration is currently writing legislation for an Internet ID?  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/08/report-obama-administration-plans-create-internet-id-americans/#ixzz1j5LLQcdA

 

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