Presidential primary politics are the ultimate in reality TV
Reality TV is all about getting to know the characters. The camera makes you feel like you build a relationship with this person…
…whether they are a star already – think Dancing with the Stars or Celebrity Apprentice
…or because the reality TV makes them famous – think American idol or Jersey Shore
There are three key elements that make reality TV work
– Controversy/ Conflict / dirty tricks
– Uncertainty of what will happen next
– Sex scandals
Primary politics have all 3!
In fact, primary politics have the best elements of Survivor and the Biggest Loser (or the Amazing Race?):
– which candidate will the voters throw off the island?
– which candidate has the will power, endurance and self sacrifice required to make it to the end?
Primary season lasts so long that it actually turns into its own form of reality TV:
Isn’t the 24/7 cable news cycles just as intimate, invasive and voyeuristic as MTV’s the Real World or Jersey Shore?
Through the lens of reality TV, it is no coincidence that Donald Trump has raced up the polls among Republican primary voters. He has the all the elements of controversy, uncertainty and sex – and is a veteran at handling the challenges and surprises of the format.
Trump knows how to find provocative issues that will stir up the electorate and he has the Republicans wondering what his next move will be.
Trump knows a thing about reality TV – after 8 years “the apprentice” still tops ratings week after week.
Don’t discount Trump’s impact on the 2012 primaries. This is his specialty!