Last year’s campaign activities from candidates for President of the United States were just a warm up compared to what’s in store for 2016. Now that we have entered the actual election year, the campaigns are shifting into high gear. These campaigns will continue demonstrating why this is one of the most unique presidential races we have ever seen. Two main reasons why this presidential election is shaping up to be so different from the others are its diversity of candidates and its increased incorporation of technology.
There has never been a presidential election with such a diverse field of candidates. On the Republican side, the candidates have included a woman former CEO of a Fortune 50 company, a billionaire businessman, an African American doctor, an Indian American Governor and two Hispanic American Senators. On the Democrat's side, the two principal candidates are a woman and a self-avowed socialist. In this 2016 election cycle, it appears that there’s a candidate for all likes and tastes. This is a positive step for America because it is through a convergence of ideas that truly great ideas are born. Difficult and diverse questions will be posed, exposing what is working and what needs to be improved upon in our country.
The second unique feature of this 2016 Presidential race is the unprecedented use of technology. The integration of information technology into this electoral cycle will help ensure that all voices can be heard. This will be the most citizen-empowered election in the history of the United States. The rise of social media - including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and other apps - is eliminating the “middle man” and allowing for direct contact with the voter. Small donations made online by millions of Americans have risen dramatically while the influence of the major donors has diminished. Innovation and technology are allowing the voter to get directly involved and have a greater influence in the political process. Data analytics technology is proving to be more accurate and representative than polls and focus groups. This data is being utilized to identify voters who may have otherwise been overlooked by conventional demographic analysis. Innovation and technology are allowing campaigns to drill down and find important pockets of sympathetic voters without significant additional investment.
We are privileged to be alive at this exciting time of individual participation and empowerment. Everyone, literally, can be involved. Take advantage of this opportunity. Express your ideas. Let your voice be heard and vote!
Jerry Pierce Jr. is Vice Chairman of the Empowering America PAC and President of The Interamerica Group.