In the Election’s Decisive Stretch, Some Questions to Think About is about to take a two-week hiatus (not for the conventions, either; I leave for the high Nevada desert and Burning Man shortly), so let me leave you with a few questions to occupy your mind in the meantime. As the 2012 election moves into its final, decisive phase, here are some ideas to ponder:

  1. Will there be a backlash against targeted advertising? In the abstract, people oppose it when asked about it, but will they actually object in practice?
  2. Will cookie-based voter-file targeting actually yield better results in practice? I.e., will it actually turn out to be able to move votes?
  3. 3. Mobile (Huh! Yeah!) What is it good for? Do all those canvassing apps and mobile ads make a difference (btw, kudos to Engage for the Time coverage of their hyperlocal mobile program!)
  4. Does a blizzard of television advertising really make a difference beyond a certain point? I.e., if someone’s seen 1000 political commercials in the last month, does #1001 matter in the slightest?
  5. How much more (or — my guess — LESS) effective will a dollar of outside “independent” spending be compared with a dollar spent by a campaign?
  6. How many DVRs will swing-state voters buy because of political ads?
  7. Will the ads finally drive a significant chunk of campaign spending to online advertising? Will it reach beyond TV-style pre-roll video?
  8. Will online ads work better for persuasion or acquisition? Will it differ by channel?
  9. Will Obama’s online-enabled ground game trump Romney’s air assault? Is this election won by grassroots organizing or broadcast messaging?

While is away, here are some sites where you can get your digital politics fix:

See y’all in a couple of weeks! Assuming I choose to come back…


Written by
Colin Delany
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