* McLatchy has a story about candidates combating “fake news” with a particular focus on the Pritzker campaign…
So the Pritzker campaign hired Democratic data science group Civis Analytics to conduct an in-depth online survey studying voters who had been exposed to fake news. What it found unsettled the campaign: Even attempts to correct the information didn’t fully undo the damage. Worse yet, the damage was even greater for female candidates.
[Campaign manager Anne Caprara] wouldn’t share details from the survey, or even describe what it found when testing the effectiveness of various responses to fake news. But after reviewing the survey results, the Pritzker campaign launched an aggressive response operation that, in their view, at least minimized the damage.
“What it told me as a campaign manager is you can’t ignore anything,” Caprara said of the survey. “You can’t assume that something is absurd or ridiculous … you have to treat all pieces of information that are coming across your candidates as something important and something critical you have to take a look at.” […]
Most digital strategists argue that a campaign’s best defense is to simply have a large online presence, one that regularly and aggressively communicates with its supporters and potential supporters online.
That was the Pritzker campaign’s approach. It asked its own supporters to flag material they found questionable on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere. When the campaign saw something it needed to push back on, it had the capability to do so with an online ad quickly, said Caprara, who said she was meeting with Pritzker campaign digital director Megan Clasen until the last day of the March primary.
“The unique part of digital spending is you can adjust those targets quickly, and really hone in on whatever group you think needs certain pieces of information your candidate,” Caprara said.
Caprara declined to specify all the ways in which the campaign combated fake news, or whether they think the efforts were completely successful. But she did say that Pritzker won his competitive Democratic primary by nearly 20 points.