May 21, 2007

GOP “losing the web”

Filed under: politics — ubikcan @ 8:03 am


Is it possible to “lose the web” in political campaigning? I wouldn’t have thought so, but check this quote out:

Another Republican — Michael Turk, who was in charge of Internet strategy for President Bush‘s 2004 campaign — puts the problem his party faces more bluntly: “We’re losing the Web right now.”

How can you lose the web? It’s not a zero-sum game.

One way is popularity as measured through number of visitors:

The most recent figures from Nielsen/NetRatings provide one measure of the gap. Looking at the Web sites of presidential candidates from the two parties, it found that former senator John Edwards‘s site had about 690,000 unique visitors in March, when the Democrat’s wife, Elizabeth, announced that she had a recurrence of cancer. That was more than the combined number of visitors to the sites of the three leading GOP contenders, Rudolph W. Giuliani (297,000), Sen. John McCain (258,000) and Mitt Romney (76,000).

Repubs are cited as not being as tech-savvy as Dems.

Repubs are also cited as being traditionally top-down which isn’t suited to the bottom-up grassroots of the web and the “netroots.”

One thing to ask is if it matters, or if it matters right now. So what? Repubs have talk radio they often reply. The other thing you should ask is whether the Dem edge in netroots is paving the way for legislative and electoral victories.

Those are much longer questions but for the moment I would say that it does matter, especially with the Presidential primaries coming up in terms of organization, and that the fundraising that it going on in the netroots (ActBlue) etc has produced real results. But it is not the only game in town, but an additional game.

Update: adding, Chris Bowers deserves some credit for this.


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