Mass Communication
01-19-2010
Last summer, Granite State politicos told national Republican institutional elites like those populating the National Republican Senatorial Committee to abstain from meddling in the state party’s competitive primary. At the time, I argued that changes in technology, and in the way campaigns are assembled, funded, and covered, have combined to make this butt out rejoinder an admirable, but ultimately futile, sentiment. You need look no further than the U.S. Senate race now reaching a crescendo in Massachusetts to understand the extent to which Congressional elections have been nationalized.
 
It is true that the Massachusetts example is somewhat unique, due to its status as a stand-alone special election with the potential for an outsized impact on President Obama’s policy agenda and the Kennedy Family’s political legacy. But take a look at the speed with which millions have been spent on advertising by national groups, and at the scope of the grassroots support that has flooded into the state from all around the country, just in the past week or so. Add in saturation coverage on cable news and the internet, and you get a good sense of how fundamentally the political culture of campaigns and elections has changed.
 
With the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire likely to be one of the most closely watched contests of the 2010 midterm elections, what we are seeing in Massachusetts is not all that far off from what we could experience here in the Granite State come next September and November. It is why I continue to believe that all politics is no longer local.


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