Digital Mythology and Donald Trump Electoral Campaign

Solovey V.D.,

Dr. Sci. (Hist.), Professor, Head, Department of Public Relations, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), MFA of Russia,

elibrary_id: 495259 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.05.09
For citation:

Solovey V.D. Digital Mythology and Donald Trump Electoral Campaign. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 5. P. 122-132. (In Russ.).


The article examines the relevance of the so-called ‘digital myths’ on the example of Donald Trump presidential electoral campaign. The statement about a change of the very quality of politics and its nature in the course of transition to a digital context is the main among digital myths. The article claims that the key condition of Trump’s victory was not an extensive use of digital tools, but a proper political strategy. The latter’s essence was an evident idea achieving an advantage in the battleground states. The Big Data suggested how to do it, and the widest possible use of digital tools has paved the way to a victory. Electoral mobilization consisted of two elements. First, Trump’s campaigners mobilized layers of the population that did not attend elections previously and that was not polled were. Second, a susceptible part of the traditional Democratic voters among youth, women and Hispanic Americans voted for Trump. To accomplish these tasks his campaigners made use of a full range of digital tools, primarily the biggest advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook. Digital media provided Trump with a low-cost, better targeted, and highly resourceful electoral campaign that was far more proficient than Hillary Clinton campaign. The observers disregarded a covered nature of Trump campaign, and this important factor made his victory quite unexpected. The author concludes that the U.S. presidential campaign 2016 was a battleground of two major types of political communication – traditional and new ones. The transition to a new type of communication is inevitable since we are entering a new political and social environment of generations that have grown up in a new technological and sociocultural context. However, even in the context of a new communication paradigm, the nature of politics remains the same. At the same time, new communications seriously transformed the mechanism of political influence on society. 

Internet; social media; Google; Facebook; Twitter; Big Data; politics; electoral campaign; Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton; digital strategy; microtargeting.


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Content No. 5, 2017

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