Innovative online research – The US presidential campaign of Barack Obama case study

Ron Riley
Innovation River, United States


Where agreement seems to exist, is this evidence of genuine consensus? Not always. Often, it is closer to what social psychologists call group influence. Often, it's people repeating what others are saying, characterized by a simple lack of independent thinking.

So, having missed Barack Obama's breakthrough speech in 2004, it was easy to dismiss the favorable hype that followed – and instead focus on other priorities. That lasted until November, 2006, when I saw him for the first time. Thereafter, even for someone who abandoned politics long ago, it became harder to ignore Obama.

That was the first surprise: that after providing voter opinion research to US presidential campaigns of Mondale/Ferraro (1984), and Gary Hart (1988), Obama could draw me back into the game.