To date, US presidential election campaign spending on traditional formats (e.g.TV, radio, newspapers, billboards) have shown the Clinton camp has used up over $145mn versus the Trump team’s $4.4mn. Clinton even made the remark that “why aren’t I 50-points ahead? You might ask?” Effective use of social media seems to be a factor. The Clinton team should be concerned at the lack of impact. Anything short of a landslide win should be considered a large warning to the DNC.
I am not a fan of Twitter. Let’s get that straight. It is usually a cesspit of vile abuse with little or no content. However, our two US presidential candidates are furious tweeters. Since the results from the primaries for both parties, both Clinton & Trump were around the early 4 million follower mark, the highest among all candidates. Since then, Trump has streaked ahead, making far better use of the platform, garnering over 11.7 million followers versus Clinton’s 8.9mn. We remind readers of our elections piece where we showed the high correlation of Twitter followings to election victories. Of course it isn’t an exact science. If Twitter was all that mattered, then Katy Perry could easily be the first female president.
When we look at other social media sites the pattern is the same. Trump’s Facebook followers number 10.77mn vs 6.06mn for Clinton and Instagram puts the Republican nominee at 2.4mn followers vs 2.1mn for the Democrat nominee.
In short Trump has 5.4x the impact of Clinton on re-tweets (RT) and 4.3x on Likes. On Facebook Trump has 2.5x the impact on shares and 3.4x the reach on Likes.
The first debate is set to kick off this week on Sept 26th (or Sept 27th at 10am in Japan). With Trump likely to have his tail up in the polls and Clinton fighting against a wave of health, credibility and authenticity issues it will be an interesting debate. Perhaps blood sport might be a better way of describing the contest. Trump talks like someone from a bar stool. Clinton will try to remain polished and composed.
It will not be down to what is said but how it is said. Of course Trump is likely to go for the jugular and potentially turn the debate into a trial with defendant Hillary Clinton in the witness box. This will be unlike any presidential debate before. In the past, they have been somewhat Harvard Debating Society meets where eloquence and delivery are the order of the day.
Clinton must project warmth. To date she has struggled to do this effectively. I doubt that she will be able to avoid attacking Trump but the only way to remove wood from his fire is to direct the debate to her ideals and plans to persuade Americans she is the better choice. Targeting The Donald’s ‘incidents’ will detract from what voters want and invite the bully to pick off her numerous issues which she does not need to have raised. The crowd expects it of Trump and when it comes to slinging mud I’m afraid the reality TV man will win such an argument.
Clinton must also avoid making gender an issue in this debate. Americans don’t care. Should she raise it during the meet or afterwards she will only expose herself as desperate.
When reading the mood of Americans Trump has been far more effective and ‘fresh’. Clinton has played her cards very safe which in this election seems a dangerous strategy. Defending a lead was all she thought that was necessary to win but with this gone she has allowed Trump a much easier run to the Oval Office.
Let the fireworks begin.