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The Only Constant is ChangeTechnology, Political Communication, and Innovation Over Time$
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Ben Epstein

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190698980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190698980.001.0001

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Political Choice and Campaign Communication Innovation

Political Choice and Campaign Communication Innovation

Why Campaigns Have the Most Consistent Innovation Adoption

(p.87) 5 Political Choice and Campaign Communication Innovation
The Only Constant is Change

Ben Epstein

Oxford University Press

The behavioral choices made by various types of political organizations differ based on the communication goals and constraints placed upon various types of actors. This chapter offers case studies exploring these variations over time, examining the development of campaign communication strategies over time as well as the pace and pattern of communication innovation and imitation. The chapter starts by connecting the major innovations in campaign communication tactics from 1796 through the 1990s, spanning the Elite, Mass, and Broadcast political communication orders (PCOs). Next, it provides a more detailed examination of the history of online campaign innovations, with particular emphasis on the build-up to and aftermath of the 2008 Obama campaign. This chapter concludes by evaluating the extent to which the successful Obama model was replicated and how campaign communication has stabilized in the years since, including the unconventional 2016 election.

Keywords:   campaigns, innovation, partisan press, Upton Sinclair, Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy-Nixon debates, Howard Dean, Barack Obama, 2008 presidential election, 2016 presidential election

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