The dust has cleared and the winner of last night’s Super Tuesday contest is becoming apparent: Steve Jobs. There may not have been actual Apple software or hardware on display (CNN had election analysts sitting at a bank of what were mostly Dell notebooks), but the emerging visual trend of the 2008 election is the network analyst poring over the returns on what appears to be some type of giant iPhone. Most of the networks had some variation of a big touch-screen election monitor, but CNN has been early and aggressive in marketing its touchy-feeliness. (Here’s a Washington Post piece on the technology.)
The visuals of CNN’s Multitouch screen are impressive–beautiful, really. (When can I get a video wall in my house?) And it’s good to see analysts drilling down into district-by-district returns. But the question is whether, say, John King has more on-the-fly control by sweeping his hand over this fancy screen, and doing NFL-style telestrations than he would pointing to a monitor with graphics put up by a producer.
Of course, there’s information, and then there’s the all-important task of making your audience feel informed, and having the latest technology onstage may contribute more to the latter than the former. Politics, as they say, is all about perception.