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This blog offers an international look at the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Indeed, campaigners worldwide are fascinated with American election campaigns. We observe relentless paid television advertising, straight-forward attack spots, sophisticated targeting and record-breaking fundraising. One cannot – and should not – simply copy paste American campaign techniques. However, campaigners out there in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia can get a lot of inspiration and specific takeaways from the most professional campaign in the world. This is the purpose of this blog.

New Trends in Political Campaigns: Polarization

These are exciting times in politics! Things change and they change at an increasingly fast pace. For the beginning of this new year, I will start a new series and formulate seven trends I observed and experienced about modern political campaigns. Today we start with polarization.

Politics in many countries is getting increasingly polarized. Geographic area, gender, age and education are the main drivers behind that polarization. And, many voters seem quite happy with this situation at the moment. The zeitgeist for many voters and politicians alike is to express themselves and to like what they agree with, but not really to expose themselves to the other side’s arguments. Look at the big and emotional debates such as the refugee crisis or the #MeToo movement: Until recently, I have heard very few nuancing voices. This might be an opportunity for the right candidate or party. Sooner or later, there will again be a political demand for balancing out various opinions, cooperation, and getting things done. This is not a self-starter, but could be successful if worked out properly and once the cost of the polarization becomes too high.

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