Election Tech Podcast: Is technology breaking the 2016 election?

The 2016 US presidential race is in chaos because social media and big data enable fringe candidates to activate grassroots movements-and the party establishment on both sides is powerless to stop it.

Image: iStockphoto/Jen Grantham

When Iowa and New Hampshire citizens cast their votes over the next two weeks, they'll give us a clearer picture of who the top candidates will be for the next leader of the free world. But, don't expect consensus to form around a pair of rivals anytime soon. The reality is that the party establishment on both sides of the aisle can longer use money and influence to force a nominee on the people. Technology is playing a pivotal role in disrupting and democratizing that process—and it's also giving us the current disarray in the race.

That's the topic of Episode 26 of The TechRepublic Podcast. TechRepublic staff writer Dan Patterson and I discussed:

  • How technology will shape the outcome of the 2016 US presidential race, especially the rise campaigns getting savvy about social media and big data
  • How the next president of the United States will make important decisions about economics, privacy, and cybersecurity that will have important implications for the tech industry as well as our personal lives
  • What this says about the state of democracy in the US and how tech is also just the enabler of larger forces at work
  • How TechRepublic is using big data to help tell stories about what's really happening in these races, and will be on the tech beat throughout the campaign
  • What to expect from the primaries in the next two weeks and how we're going to be uniquely covering some interesting tech angles like mobile app that Ted Cruz's team is using and the social media approach from the Bernie Sanders campaign.

You don't want to miss this podcast. The 2016 election has the potential for a lot more drama with the possibility of a brokered election in the GOP, the stubborn staying power of Sanders on the left, and the looming possibility of an independent run from Michael Bloomberg. Technology, social media, and big data have important parts to play, and that's the story we'll be covering. You can expect plenty of takeaways, wisdom, and cautionary tales that businesses will be able to use.

The TechRepublic podcast is available for free in the podcast feed (subscribe via RSS or iTunes). You can also listen directly in the embedded player below.

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Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

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