The Role Blogs Played in the Election

The National Journal interviewed a lot of bloggers about the role blogs played in this year's presidential election and their predictions for tomorrow.

Not surprisingly, some bloggers viewed themselves as engaging readers in the political process and others as media watchdogs.The actual question we were asked was "What role do you think bloggers in general (and your blog in particular) have played in this election cycle?"

My answer:

Holding the primary candidates' feet to the fire. Debunking right-wing spin. Promoting individual engagement in the electoral process (through comments which have generated communities of commenters.)

The predictions, broken down by Left and right leaning blogs are here. Of the Right wing blogs. 59% say Obama will win, 41% say McCain will win. On the left, 100% of the bloggers call it for Obama.

< A Prediction Report: Obama 339 Electoral Votes, McCain 199 | Karl Rove's Prediction: Obama 338, McCain 200 >
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    This is an excellent question (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by Radiowalla on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 08:45:46 PM EST
    which will no doubt be the topic of more than one PhD dissertation.

    I have nothing to say about the right wing blogs because that is terra incognita for me.  But I do know something about the left-end of the blogosphere and I feel confident that the primaries were highly influenced by online activists.

    Hillary Clinton never had the support of most major leftie blogs who organized very effectively for Obama.  DailyKos, Eschaton, Talkingpointsmemo, Huffington, Americablog were all strongly anti-Hillary.  TalkLeft was unique in its tolerance for pro-Clinton partisans.  

    As we come to the final lap of what seems to be an interminable campaign, I am optimistic for the future and ready to get to work on the huge problems before us.  Thank goodness for the thoughtful oasis of TalkLeft.

    Missed the most important (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by pluege on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 04:44:48 AM EST
    Debunking right-wing spin.

    this is true, but Talk Left's key contribution, at least during the primaries was debunking left-wing spin - it became one of the very few left blogs that didn't go into wingnut land over Obama becoming a refuge for those hailing from the reality-based community.

    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by lambert on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 08:31:30 AM EST
    And there aren't many like Jeralyn who kept the doors open. For that, everybody, no matter who they voted for, owes her a debt of gratitude. Any other policy leads to toxic discourse.

    So one of your (2.00 / 0) (#2)
    by rooge04 on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 09:18:13 PM EST
    answers isn't:
    Progressive blogs engage in right-wing, misogynistic attacks of the first viable Presidential candidate? Because it should be.

    I support Obama Jeralyn, but I love how as soon as Obama won the nomination, you've  since pretended that the attacks on Hillary either didn't happen or no longer matter.

    Don't jump on Jeralyn, please! (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by Radiowalla on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 09:25:24 PM EST
    She isn't pretending anything.  She's isn't the one to be criticizing now.  

    Indeed (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mike H on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 09:53:58 PM EST
    The way so-called progressive bloggers treated the Clinton campaign should give pride to no one.

    We still have a lot to clean up in our own house, as far as I'm concerned.  

    When this is all over (none / 0) (#6)
    by Radiowalla on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 10:05:14 PM EST
    I will await the efforts of the DNC to democratize the primary process.  

    Don't hold your breath (none / 0) (#8)
    by MoveThatBus on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 11:17:45 PM EST
    what would their incentive be?

    Those voters who were marginalized (none / 0) (#12)
    by Radiowalla on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 10:23:11 AM EST
    and disrespected need to show them what their incentive should be.

    Howard Dean and all the officials must be asked about it at every public appearance.  We have to make it an issue for them.


    Now we know (none / 0) (#5)
    by mg7505 on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 09:56:53 PM EST
    that 41% of conservative blogs are beyond self-delusion; maybe their brains got sucked into the series of tubes in the Interwebs.

    Just remember, (none / 0) (#13)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Nov 04, 2008 at 11:12:53 AM EST
    that's also what they say about us.

    The real issue as we come out of this win for Democrats is how to deal with how close this election was.

    If we want to move forward into a sustainable democracy, we need to ensure that we incorporate the shared values of our opponents, and that our leaders act with impeccable ethics.  That means no more Ted Stevens type cheating, especially by elected officials on our side, an end to revolving doors between government and corporations, no more lobbyist scandals, no bailouts without public returns for the risk, and absolutely no sex scandals.

    We should expect all the good of the Clinton era without any of the bad that was so easily used against us to elect our opponents.  It's not too much to ask for, integrity and accountability in government.  This election is about us, and we need to set the mandate immediately.  


    It seems to me Talk Left's (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 10:19:57 PM EST
    response should at least mention its duelling approaches to Sarah Palin.

    the blogs played no role (none / 0) (#9)
    by cpinva on Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 11:41:17 PM EST
    whatever, in the real world. in the insular world of the blogs, maybe. this is all blogs: left, right, middle.

    don't take my word for it (and why should you?), check for yourself. go out on any street, USA, stop 10, 20, 30 (or more) people at random. ask them what blogs influenced them during this election cycle. first, you'll have to explain to them what a blog is, then 9.999 out of 10 will tell you none.

    we all like to think we have some influence. with rare exception, we don't. blogs are no different. ask me again in 10 years, it might (but probably won't) have changed by then.