Campaign Text Messages the Next Frontier in Politics

Robocalls are commonplace in elections, but a new method of communication is looming on the political scene.

If you haven’t already received a text message from a political campaign, there’s a good chance you will in the near future.

The new method of outreach is already happening, as Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, Daniel Biss, and Chris Kennedy are among those political aspirants that are sending personal text messages.

“This is the way we communicate,” Kelly Dietrich of the Democratic National Training Company says. “Politicians are going to use this to connect with us.”

Some candidates, like Biss, are looking at text messages as a way of levelling the playing field against more wealthy contenders.

“Every way we can have people talk to people helps,” he said. “We aren’t going to outspend the billionaires, but we have passion we can’t buy.”

Campaigns can get phone numbers in a variety of ways, from voluntary sign-ups to information gathered from political parties, but the FCC has put in strict rules that campaigns must follow in an effort to protect voters.

“People have the right to opt out,” Biss said. “We even had a woman ask a question and opt out at the same time, and we couldn’t respond to her!” 

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