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Democrats’ Butter-Cow Selfies Don’t Count Unless They’re Online

  • 2020 campaigns make online presence as vital as voter contact
  • With a push from 2016, Sanders is winning the followers race
Joe Biden takes a selfie with an attendee at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 8.
Joe Biden takes a selfie with an attendee at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 8.Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
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Posing next to the Iowa State Fair’s famous butter cow while holding a pork chop on a stick has long been a way for presidential hopefuls to gain credibility with the state’s voters. But this year’s Democratic contenders are also shadowed by staff who’ll leverage those images to win support from younger voters nationwide.

The fun times will quickly be uploaded to their own social media accounts and available to reach the critical younger demographic where they are: on their mobile phones. It’s a tactic that’s become a matter of course in the crowded race for the Democratic nomination, even at heavily covered events like the annual Fair, as candidates attempt to win the White House by winning the Internet first.