Later this year, we will once again engage in a major, national election. There are plenty of seats in the House and the Senate up for grabs in the swing states. Whoever wins these seats can potentially change the power structure of the Congress. The Republicans hold the House by a moderate majority and the Democrats hold the Senate by also a moderate majority. As we learned from the text and some of the homework problems, the opinions of a few can cascade and change the opinions of others who are on the fence on certain issues, such as who to elect or pick for a certain job. Thus, the two major political parties should (and they probably do) focus on creating information cascade to capture voters on the fence.
In areas where one party dominates, little campaigning is required and a small fraction of differentiating opinions won’t sway the outcome of the election. However, as stated, areas where the majority or a significant fraction of voters are on the fence should be the targets for political campaigns. These areas are often in swing states and these swing states determine the polarity of Congress.
As shown in the text, information cascades triggered by a minority can sway the opinions of the majority. However, the trick is creating the cascade to secure a victory. Both parties also presumably know the other side is attempting to do the same thing (so now, we have a little game theory creeping in too). Tools such as social media enable both parties to create these cascades. As a matter of fact, part of the reasons why Barack Obama won the election back in 2008 was a massive social media campaign that spread through the farthest reaches of social media. Through social media outlets, the campaign created a frenzy for the president and captured key swing voters quickly. Thus, the 2008 campaign created a massive information cascade that lead to a landslide victory.
Fast forward a few years later, both parties are using social media outlets to create the effect the 2008 Obama campaign did on all electoral levels. In just a few short months, we can expect to see both parties trying to create these cascades through: television and radio ads, social media outlets, and news coverage. As that historic campaign proved, especially in today’s tech centered world, information cascades win elections.