Understanding the Dynamics of Election Campaigns

author
Dr. Louis Perron
blog post louis

There is a fundamental difference between advertising for products and for political campaigns. Consumers do not have to decide once every four years whether they want to eat KitKat or M&Ms. They can buy one today and the other one tomorrow. Or, they can avail of both today. This is fundamentally different in politics where voters have to chose out of competing options.

Let’s think about a moment what advertisers would do differently if consumers had to pick one. Instead of running long-term branding campaigns, they would emphasize the difference between the products. They would create urgency and tell people why it really matters for them.

That’s precisely the dynamics of election campaigns where it’s all about the difference between the candidates. On its face, Americans don’t want Joe Biden nor Donald Trump to be the next president. But that’s not the question they will ever have to decide. If it’s coming down to a rematch (which I am not yet fully convinced about at this time), voters will have to choose.

Democrats will vote for Biden, Republicans for Trump, but what will voters in the middle do? It will be up to the so-called double haters, those who have a negative opinion about Trump and Biden. If Trump’s legal problems continue, it would push a considerable number of the double haters to vote for Biden.

Now, I’m not saying that Trump could never win, but it would have little to do with him. The more negative voters are about the status quo, the economy and therefore Joe Biden, the higher the chances for Trump.

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