Eyes here are turning now from one ground-changing, society-splitting, ‘who-saw-that coming’ political campaign to another. The film maker Michael Moore (more from him later) has even pointed American attention to what happened here in a “learn those lessons” warning to Clinton-waverers.
He’s only doing that because this US presidential campaign is, a) very close and, b) so different from any before it.
Never have the American people had two candidates who are so ‘already-famous’ before. And never have they had two candidates who trigger such entrenched animosity in such large numbers. So how has all that reflected in how they campaign?
Contrast number one is that Clinton’s been trying to change that negative view, Trump really hasn’t. You only need to watch Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democrat Convention – it was a 42 minute plea that said, “she’s lovely, really” from the could-be First Gentleman of the United States. Trump doesn’t care that people don’t like him. Sometimes how people view Donald Trump is pretty hard to fathom – he’s more trusted on the economy than Clinton, and this from a man who’s had four companies file for bankruptcy.
Their contrasting campaigning tactics come into sharp focus when you look at their work in traditional media and social too: Hillary has aired 30,700 ads since the campaigning began. Trump has aired none; Since May, 80% of the URLs in Clinton’s Facebook posts link back to her campaign site. 78% of Trump’s take you to external news sites; Trump’s Facebook posts – 8,000 shares, Clinton’s – 2,000; and more than 70% of Trump’s retweets came from ordinary people, that percentage for Clinton is 0.
And here’s a contrast in social media strategy that smacks you in the face. These are two pictures posted on Instagram by both candidates on the day they clinched their party’s nomination:
Trump’s on a private jet that he owns – that couldn’t be less ‘of the people’ if you tried. But that’s not what you’re looking at. He’s eating a Maccy Ds. “What a guy”. And what was Clinton’s picture? Can’t remember.
Trump has mastered something that few people, companies, brands, frankly anybody has mastered before – an ability to get his voice heard and his message across without buying ad space or paying big bucks to get the message promoted. His former campaign manager said the focus would always be on “authenticity” and you’d find it hard to argue that you’re not hearing the real Donald Trump when he speaks. Authenticity is Clinton’s Kryptonite – she’s the establishment who voted for the Iraq war and as Trump supporters would say, ‘got us into this mess in the first place’. Tough image to turn around.
So how successful have they marketed themselves? What or who do people associate them with? Have a look at this.
And obviously there’s data analytics galore surrounding these two characters. Too much to talk about here – so I’ll just pick out one of the more random bits of info spat out, courtesy of Adweek.
Hillary Clinton has gained traction with fans of the TV show Teen Wolf since clinching the Democratic nomination – I’ve no idea if she bought ad space in that show, but you’d think that she should.
So does any of this help us predict who’s gonna win? Probably not. The prediction-king of the US, Nate Silver, gives Hillary an 81% chance of winning (he correctly guessed the result of every single one of the 50 states last time out).
Michael Moore thinks otherwise. He posted with denuded dread –: “If you believe Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump with facts and smarts and logic, then you obviously missed the past year of 56 primaries and caucuses where 16 Republican candidates tried that and every kitchen sink they could throw at Trump and nothing could stop his juggernaut. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. Never in my life have I wanted to be proven wrong more than I do now.”
One thought – I was comfortable referring to the Democrat nominee as Hillary here, but writing Donald felt very wrong. You?