Forecasting with Broadband

By Larry Dignan  |  Posted 2004-11-03 Email Print this article Print

With the 2004 Presidential race in the books, one sizable question remains: Who's going to be the next Howard Dean, in 2008?

Forecasting with Broadband

For starters, as 2008 approaches, broadband communications will be taking root.

Jupiter Research forecasts that by 2008, 46 million households -- representing half of online households and 40 percent of all U.S. households--will connect via high-speed technologies.

That means an upstart candidate will have better infrastructure to pitch multimedia messages about issues and with any luck get it recirculated on a "peer-to-peer" copying service such as Kazaa. The Internet could act as a television network that reaches all 50 states all the time.

"You could create a campaign that reached every computer-literate voter,'' says Cuban. "And it wouldn't be hard."

Demographics also support the notion that Internet technologies could support a serious independent candidacy.

For starters, 145 million eligible voters are already online, according to Jupiter Research.

That's two-thirds of the U.S. Census Bureau's calculation that 217.8 million Americans are eligibile to vote this year.

And then there's youth.

By 2008, young adults 18-34 online will number 50.1 million. This pool of potential voters, volunteers and activists grew up on the personal computers. Those demographics indicate that a Web-based candidacy could be mounted in 2012, if not 2008.

"It could take a couple of cycles, but it'll happen," says Hughes.

Business Editor
Larry formerly served as the East Coast news editor and Finance Editor at CNET Prior to that, he was editor of Ziff Davis Inter@ctive Investor, which was, according to Barron's, a Top-10 financial site in the late 1990s. Larry has covered the technology and financial services industry since 1995, publishing articles in, Inter@ctive Week, The New York Times, and Financial Planning magazine. He's a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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