Presidential Race

The First Digital Election

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    As the U.S. presidential campaign hits the home stretch, the digital- and internet-related efforts by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to sway voters are likely to be a decisive factor in the election.

  • Facts


    • The money spent by the two main candidates in the U.S. presidential race has surpassed $1 billion.
    • The outcome of the November 8 election will have a global impact.
    • Barack Obama’s successful presidential runs in 2008 and 2012 illustrated the value of skilled use of digital campaign tools.
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Trump apology
Trump: Forget the press, read the internet. Source: Polaris/Laif

Hillary Clinton has shown a lot of discipline but little charm in the U.S. presidential campaign. And yet, she can be quite funny, as she proved in June in an exchange of verbal blows with her rival Donald Trump.

He had gone after her in his customarily crude way. The Republican candidate let it be known on his medium of choice, Twitter, that President Barack Obama was giving his political support to “crooked Hillary.” Ms. Clinton fired right back. “Delete your account,” she wrote.

With that, the Democratic candidate demonstrated her knowledge of internet customs. The sentence is a well-known expression in online culture. The comment was re-posted well over half a million times by Twitter users.

Democrats and Republicans have recognized that they must speak the language of the internet. Since Mr. Obama ensured his presidential wins in 2008 and 2012 with a carefully-devised digital strategy, the political class has been using the internet as a political tool, above all Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.

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