Mobile Tactics Could Be Key to 2012 Election

Analysts say candidates must improve their mobile tech plans to communicate with younger voters.

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Given the explosive growth in smartphone and tablet use over the past four years, campaign strategies for using mobile technologies could prove critical in the 2012 presidential election.

So far, analysts say, the candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties are mostly focused on social networking and connecting to the electorate via desktop computers, apparently eschewing a stronger mobile focus until later on in the campaign.

If the candidates aren't yet working hard on developing mobile campaign strategies, they'd better start soon, analysts say, as the 2012 election season begins in earnest this month with the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

The campaigns of multiple candidates didn't respond to Computerworld's requests for information on their mobile technology plans.

Rob Enderle, an analyst for Enderle Group, noted that many Americans under age 45 are heavy users of smartphones and tablet computers, and increasingly use them as portals to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

"Candidates need a good social media campaign to win, and social media done right includes mobile, because mobile allows candidates to loop in supporters in the moment and stay in touch and respond in real time. Mobile makes social networking more important," Enderle said.

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