Synopsis of "Politicking Goes High-Tech" by Steven Roberts

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Politicking Goes High-Tech

Steven V. Roberts

This reading dealt with the fact that the major decision makers for people when voting (especially for Senators) are the television spots. The article discussed how today's campaigns are now candidate-centered rather than political party-centered and how they require large sums of money in order to pay for all the advertising, and a team of professional workers rather than a team of volunteers is a necessity. Much of the money goes to commercial advertisements, but another large portion goes to continuous polling and direct mail strategies.

The article talked about the need to have the speed and technology to know how the people feel right away. A candidate cannot wait weeks or even days for the results to come back to him or her whether he or she is in the lead. The results are needed within hours. After getting the results from the polls, it is then time to determine what action needs to be taken to aid your campaign (or more often hurt your opponent).

The candidate then needs to create new television ads to make himself or herself appeal to the interests of the people or sometimes to counteract the bad things the opponent has to say. This fight between the television ads is often referred to as Spot Wars.

While the Spot Wars help out the candidates (or harm the opponents with derogatory remarks), they can cost an enormous amount of money; and after being played on television the opponent will return the attack with one of his or her ads--then, the candidate will have to go back to work all over again creating new ads regarding the new polls--all of which costs more money. A major portion of the money for candidates to use comes from PACs. These PACs...