On Super Tuesday, tech was everywhere: twittering away on Google, powering get-out-the-vote SMS campaigns, leveraging mobile political apps, furiously posting at blogging parties, ginning up barrels of money and continuing to weave its political voice into the 2008 national election debate.
However, at the end of the historic U.S. electoral day, nothing had changed, no knockout punches delivered-much to the delight of the underdog campaigns that have been waging war online for more than a year. Driven by an infusion of young campaign volunteers and workers armed and comfortable with technology, Barack Obama is still standing against Hillary Clinton.
"Mac" may be back, but Mike Huckabee is still around, awed as his site "lights up" with money and support, one improbable win after another. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is probably wondering about all those probability outcomes he bought into last year.
Obama and Huckabee likely have Election 2.0 to thank for their early survival and continuing viability. The 2008 presidential campaign is the first to deploy powerful Web 2.0 tools to change the rules, upsetting traditional political wisdom time after time. The early online jump in the 2008 election cycle gave wings, cash and hope to Obama and Huckabee.
Those same supporters are now delivering votes, delegates and even more money to carry the campaigns on to next week's Chesapeake regional round of voting in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Having raised $32 million in January alone, Obama promised to press the battle beyond that.
Obama, in particular, has returned the favor to many of his followers by giving voice to technology issues important to his troops, if not the nation. The differences between Clinton and Obama on technology issues are minimal, more a matter of style than substance.