According to research done at Pew Research Center, 66 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 in the United States own a smartphone, and usage among all adults is up 10 percent from last year. Much like how businesses and organizations are taking advantage of the smartphone phenomenon that is sweeping the nation, political campaigns have revamped their digital strategies to utilize mobile to its fullest potential.
Mobile Politics, an app that allows for political candidates to interact with their constituents, estimates that more than 800 million people will access political information from their smartphone this election. This statistic is an astonishing 200 percent increase from mobile-use in the 2008 presidential race.
Both campaigns have not only successfully used mobile to inform supporters about campaign news and polling information, but have begun to leverage apps to generate fundraising. In August, the Obama campaign became the first to accept donations via SMS, and Romney soon followed. This could potentially be a game-changer to presidential races, considering how effective text message donations have been for non-profit organizations in the past.
For Romney, his campaign has utilized iPhone apps to announce Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate and connect with supporters. The “With Mitt” app allows people to take photos of events, create pro-Romney banners and post these images to Twitter and Facebook. However, as the Romney campaign has learned, mistakenly spelling America as ‘Amercia’ on your app can quickly cause your campaign to go viral for the wrong reasons.
Whether it’s announcing a vice presidential pick or accepting SMS donations, mobile is clearly a major player in this year’s election. Who knows, maybe someday we will be able to vote for our next president right from our phones.
Have you used any of the political apps yourself? If so, tell us about your experience!