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The Ace Up Vivek Ramaswamy's Sleeve

AP Photo/Meg Kinnard

There’s definitely a charm to Vivek Ramaswamy that even fans of his opponents can see. While he might not have the gravitational pull of Donald Trump or the statesmanship of Ron DeSantis, Ramaswamy has a lot of gumption. He’s a man that should have been a non-factor in the election but has now found himself increasing in popularity.

As Jennifer O’Connell reported on Monday, Ramaswamy has him closing the gap between him and DeSantis in a Harvard-Harris poll. He was a dark horse now edging for position among the top runners.

What does this mean? Not much right now. There’s still so much football left to play that any number of things could happen that could send any of the candidates flying up in popularity or crashing down in infamy. A poll this far out from the primary is effectively trying to predict the weather 100 years from now, and I’ll leave that to Democrats.

The focus of this article isn’t a prediction of a far-off moment or a commentary about a candidate’s viability. What I want to focus on is why Ramaswamy went from being a collective shrug from potential voters to a person people are now taking notice of.

The answer is simple; he’s living in the digital age.

Ramaswamy is present in a way that other candidates just aren’t. Heading to his Twitter (X?) page, nearly every tweet features Ramaswamy talking to someone about something. He’s talking to TimCast, he’s chatting to PBS, he’s talking to NBC, he’s on Breaking Points and News Nation. Every other tweet on his page is him discussing some subject with someone.

This man is everywhere, talking about anything all the time. Wherever you turn, Ramaswamy was just on, is on, or is coming up. I don’t see this level of presence from any other candidate on the Republican side. The only other candidate I see doing this sort of thing is the Democrat’s own dark horse, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and he’s also experiencing something of a popularity spike.

In this day and age, the random interview here and the occasional political ad there no longer do it. Attention must be gotten and then kept once you’ve acquired it through consistent appearances and predictable posting schedules on social media. If you’re a politician that can maintain a higher-than-normal online appearance, then your competition will have a hard time keeping up.

Trump might be the exception to this, but as far as I can tell, he’s the only exception and he’s been put in an exceptional situation. Everyone else does not have that benefit. Ramaswamy seemed to figure that out before even stepping foot in the ring and devised a campaign strategy that is, thus far, working.

Some may wonder if this strategy will work long term. Where will Ramaswamy be when we get closer to the Primary? My prediction is that his presence will only grow if his constant appearances on hostile shows don’t eventually result in a really bad gaffe moment. As things heat up, the “gotcha” attempts will increase and his consistent appearances may work against him.

That said, we live in the age of the social media influencer and Ramaswamy technically is one, just in the political scene. In fact, I can foresee the future of politics revolving a lot around being solid at social media accessibility, or at least the feeling of being accessible. If Ramaswamy can maneuver around these potentially dangerous moments, I don’t see how he doesn’t become a serious consideration for the Republican nominee in the end.

Of course, if any of the other politicians adopt this strategy, we could see the field shift in all sorts of interesting ways. Time will tell, but the bottom line here is that the ace up Ramaswamy’s sleeve isn’t unique to him. They all have it, they just have to play it.

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