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The New Face of Political Conventions: Will Shift Online Prove Effective? Holy Cross Professor Opines

The Conversation
August 17th, 2020 by 

Daniel Klinghard teaches a Political Science class entitled, Politics & Technology. Photographed May 2015.
Photo by Tom Rettig

The coronavirus has altered much of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, from cancelled rallies to changing the format of much-anticipated nomination conventions.

As an almost fully virtual Democratic party convention kicks off, Daniel Klinghard, professor of political science at Holy Cross, takes a look back into the history of U.S. politics and fundamental changes that have occurred in nomination conventions, which he said were largely driven by technological advances.

“America’s current party organizations were built as party leaders used new technologies to make their proceedings more attractive to voters and their candidates more appealing,” said Klinghard, the author of a book on 19th century party politics, in a piece for The Conversation.

And this year, the pandemic has struck at the same time as a significant technological shift – Americans are relying less on television for their news. Will the shift to online actually prove to be more successful in reaching voters?

According to Klinghard, the answer is a resounding yes: “Moving the convention spectacle online allows the party to control their message more effectively.”

To read the full article, go to TheConversation.com. The piece has also been republished by Salon and Houston Chronicle.

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