PresidentElect™: Reality TV and the General Election

Updated: Feb 3, 2019


A common goal in presidential campaigning is finding a way to increase voter engagement. We know that competition reality shows increase audience engagement and, in cases like American Idol, voter engagement as well. Viewers have become accustomed to vetting people through this format.


This is part of the reason why many characteristics of reality television are already present in the media coverage during general elections.


Donald Trump's skill as an entertainer factored heavily in the success of his campaign and made him a formidable contestant in the reality show that was the 2016 election. In order to win in future elections, prospective presidential candidates should learn from this recent history.


For their own best interests, American voters should take note of this phenomenon as well. Social media provides a way for voters to crowdsource an audience for a candidate competition show of their own.


A social network designed to allow voters to rate and interact with candidate profiles would create an environment where outstanding candidates from a large and diverse field can trend to the top. The top candidates on the network could then face off in an audience-driven competition show streamed on a digital platform.


The show would put a spotlight on the best candidates so that they can be more intensely vetted for competency and receive the full benefit of mainstream media coverage as they enter into the national political conversation. The social network would provide these candidates with the political organization and platform they need to compete in general elections. The combination of these two components would result in a alternative primary process that caters to independent voters, giving them a better chance of electing a true representative to the White House.


The social network we just described is PurpleState™, and we call the reality show PresidentElect™. Instead of candidates prioritizing issues for the country, the platform tells candidates what the people want and contestants on the show must demonstrate that they are capable of representing voters’ interests.


PresidentElect™ will be presented in a series of episodes with segments designed to reveal both their mettle and their merit. The first half of each episode will involve challenges judged by panels of experts in subject matter covered that week. In the second half, the bottom two contestants will move to the elimination round where they will debate on a topic chosen by PurpleState™ users for that episode.


Voters will have 24 hours after each episode airs to vote for one of the two candidates to stay. Each candidate will have a prerecorded farewell address in case of elimination and PurpleState™ will publish one on the PurpleState™ social network after the polls close for each episode. Another contestant will be eliminated each week until the final episode where one contestant will emerge as the winner of PresidentElect™ and go on to run for the presidency in the general election.


These are examples of the episodes presently being developed:

  • We the People - Contestants reveal their core philosophies and strengths as they answer the question: “What makes you representative of the American people?” in front of mixed panel of political operatives and campaign experts.

  • One-Issue Candidates - Contestants choose one issue as a focus for a concise but comprehensive speech on their position and their plan to address it.

  • America’s Town Hall - Groups of voters from all over the nation ask the kind of questions that rarely make it to traditional televised Q & A’s with presidential candidates.

  • The Situation Room - A panel of military experts and veterans drill contestants with historical and hypothetical questions testing the judgement needed as Commander-in-Chief.

  • Constructive Criticism - the candidates meet their highest-rated critics from the PurpleState™ platform and a panel of pundits judge how well they field the users' questions.

  • Purple House Press Corps - Candidates will answer hard-hitting questions from former seasoned members of the White House press corps.

  • It’s the Economy... - Each candidate gives a comprehensive presentation of their economic plans for the nation in a format that rewards real-life solutions over superficial rhetoric.

  • The Stump Speech - Contestants give a preview of the speech they will give every time they appear in public during the heat of the general election.

  • Leading the Free World - contestants meet with heads of state or advisers from other countries to discuss complex international issues.

  • Purple State of the Union - PurpleState™ users will have reached consensus on the key issues and solutions they want their President to focus on. Candidates discuss how they intend to deliver.

  • The Great Debate - The last two contestants left standing will debate their differences on policy and purpose.

  • The Convention - The PurpleState™ nominee will be announced in a traditional convention format providing viewers with a climactic finish to this alternate primary process.

The drama and emotional engagement generated on the show will provide the winner of PresidentElect™ with a competitive advantage greater than any previous independent presidential candidate has enjoyed.


We are presently reaching out to seasoned reality show production companies and building an online presence for the show at PresidentElect.TV. When voters nominate, vet, rate, and ultimately choose their favorite contestants, they simply do not have to continue settling for candidates that emerge from the partisan primary process.

The PurpleState™ initiative can be defined as a people-driven effort to establish a digital, multimedia platform designed to allow users to select or run as independent candidates.

If you support our initiative and want to get involved, go to our Get Involved! page and find out more about how you can help.

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