Book

When the nerds go marching in: how digital technology moved from the margins to the mainstream of political campaigns (2020)

in: Oxford studies in digital politics

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Abstract

Digital technology has moved from the margins to the mainstream of campaign and election organization in contemporary democracies. Previously considered a mere novelty item, technology has become a basic necessity for any candidate or party contemplating a run for political office. While it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the first digital campaign was officially launched, the general consensus is that the breakthrough moment, at least in terms of public awareness, came during the 1992 U.S. election cycle. At the presidential level, it was Democratic nominee Bill Clinton who laid claim to this virtual terra nova after his staff uploaded a series of basic text files with biographical information for voters to browse. Since that time, use of the Internet in elections has expanded dramatically in the U.S. and elsewhere.