Obama’s digital supremacy allowed him to reach out to voters of all ages, but especially the generation that built social media — Millennials, but the Millennials as a group are disenchanted with Obama, his policies and his broken promises. They are looking for real change… but the GOP is far behind the Democrat Party in Technology and need to make the investment to catch-up!
RedAlertPolitics: Being to the right-of-center often means, perhaps unfairly, being grouped in with old, white men. And while this stereotype may be overplayed — more than 40 percent of GOP votes in 2012 came from voters under 45 — the right’s problems with young people mirror its equally troubling deficiencies in technology. President Barack Obama decisively “won the Internet” with a superior digital campaign in both 2008 and 2012, and conservatives are still struggling to close this digital divide. Fortunately, when we invest in technology, we necessarily invest in young people, and further efforts in digital outreach will also help build bridges to the Millennial generation.
Obama’s “big data” operations permanently changed the nature of campaign outreach by changing the way we think about messaging to voters. By compiling data from, among other sources, voters’ social media accounts, the Obama campaign was able to micro-target individuals with specialized messages that appealed specifically to their interests. This landmark operation built on the digital achievements of Obama’s 2008 campaign — including the my.barackobama social network, which allowed users to interact with Obama staffers and volunteers much in the same way they would their friends on Facebook.
Obama’s digital supremacy allowed him to reach out to voters of all ages, but especially the generation that built social media — Millennials.
Not only are young people far more likely to consume and share information on social media than older adults, they’re also the men and women behind the curtains of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. As the Obama campaign embraced technology and invested in these platforms, they naturally built relationships with the young people who power the digital world. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, for example, became Obama’s director of online organizing at age 24.
Conservatives are now behind the 8-ball on digital technology, and the quickest way for them to bridge the digital divide is to invest heavily in young, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy talent. Before advanced technological systems can be built, the operators need to be in place, and Republicans have lacked the human capital needed to sustain large-scale digital innovations. By courting young computer scientists, data engineers and rising executives from the business side of the social media industry, Republicans can get the people in place to build a digital operation sufficient for 2016.
On the tier of the tech pyramid below wizkids and systems operators, conservatives also need to focus on building up relationships with the digital grassroots — online-savvy bloggers and activists, most of whom are in their 20s and 30s and have come of age in the Internet Era. These ground troops are changing both the image and focus of the conservative movement, and the GOP needs to harness their energy and deploy them as the next generation of the “ground game,” complementing door-knockers and phonebankers through targeted online outreach.
There are more than enough talented and right-leaning technologists, bloggers and activists waiting in the wings to help the GOP bridge its digital divide, but the party can’t simply expect them to show up at its doorstep.
Rather, conservatives need to take up the causes important to the digital grassroots, including Internet freedom and opposition to federal regulations like net neutrality. Regulation of the Internet is an area where free-market conservatives and libertarians share common ground with digital activists. By embracing these causes and incorporating them into the party’s legislative priorities, the GOP can start to build the alliances they’ve been lacking for the past decade.
The core messages of conservatism — individual liberties, personal responsibility, lower taxes and a smaller, more efficient government — appeal to people young and old, but it’s no secret that Republicans have a messaging problem that has driven a wedge between them and younger voters. Embracing technology is not only a political necessity for the GOP, but also a viable avenue for connecting with young people on issues that matter to them.
By Erik Telford /// February 20, 2014
Millennials are ripe for the GOP and for change. As a group they are abandoning Obama and ObamaCare, many are jobless with tens even a hundred thousand in debt with school loans and often living at home because the school loans and lack of income keep them from getting any credit or qualifying for an apartment. More Millennials seem to be insulted by the ObamaCare commercials than are convinced to consider signing up. And Millennials are turning out to hear Sarah Palin and other solid conservatives speak… with a growing number of whom believe she should run for president in 2016 and that she can win!