Broadband is the new political thing. Terry Christensen, a political-science professor at San Jose State University, said the candidates were shrewd to seize on broadband as a means of promoting their high-tech credentials. Unlike the arcane question of expensing stock options, broadband can readily be understood by Americans who use the Internet. “It’s an issue that enables them to talk about high tech but not so narrowly that it only appeals to Silicon Valley,” he said.

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