2024 presidential cycle: Political campaigns capitalize on micro-internet trends

Jun 16, 2023, 2:19 PM

Kaleigh Rogers, FiveThirtyEight's technology and politics reporter,  joined a recent episode of In...

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: In this photo illustration, the TikTok app logo is displayed on an iPhone on February 28, 2023 in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Historically, grip and grins, handshakes and retail politics were the main success of political campaigns, but the 2024 election cycle is capitalizing on micro-internet trends. 

Kaleigh Rogers, FiveThirtyEight’s technology and politics reporter,  joined a recent episode of Inside Sources, hosted by Boyd Matheson, to explain how campaigns are trying to use trends to their benefit, and how the success or failure of those campaigns impacts the candidates. 

Rogers begins the discussion by clarifying that micro-trends are memes that gain a lot of attention on platforms, such as TikTok or Twitter, for a day or two. 

“They’re [candidates] including those in their campaign ads or sub-speeches or their press releases. And responding almost in real-time to the ever-changing internet culture,” she said. 

Political campaigns 2024

According to Rogers, this is a technique all candidates use to a certain degree. 

“President Biden has his Dark Brandon merch on his website. Former President Donald Trump has had a couple of digs at, in particular, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for various, sorta internet memes,” said Rogers. 

Although internet trends can be a great way to create memorable campaigns, Rogers said how the trend is executed is crucial. 

“If you don’t have a good team behind you that knows what they’re doing, it’s really easy to come across as inauthentic and kinda cheesy and cringy if you’re not doing it just quit right,” she said. “Hillary Clinton, for example, there was a time when she tried to get on Snapchat, and she made a little video that went viral on Vine, maybe you [Boyd Matheson] remember Vine as the sorta precursor of TikTok, but in the wrong way. Everyone was sorta mocking her,” Rogers said. 

Related reading:

Listen to the full episode, below. 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

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2024 presidential cycle: Political campaigns capitalize on micro-internet trends