It also underscores earlier observations that Republicans don't have an online game like the Democrats. The reason for that probably has a lot to do with the fact that in 2004 there was no Republican scrum and hence no proving ground for online Republican strategists.
In 2004 there was indeed a Republican scrum, Arlen Specter vs. Pat Toomey.
I had moved to Pennsylvania right after the 2004 elections and had a chance to observe the Republican PA blogosphere. Locally, they were light-years ahead of anything we had at that point, at least as far as manipulating local media goes.
They had PoliticsPA and GrassrootsPA, two sites that were far more effective than anything Democrats had at the local level.
Toomey had a TON of grassroots support in the state -- it was very much like Lamont/Lieberman in CT last year.
But they never really DID anything with it. I certainly don't recall the Toomey campaign utlizing any of the tools available to them at the time. Jerome concured:
But Conservatives shouldn't blame Bush for Specter's winning, a campaign should expect it's opponent to use every piece of its arsenal. No, the reason why Toomey lost is that his own campaign blew it--they didn't use their entire available arsenal. Toomey's campaign didn't use the netroots that had coalesced surrounding his campaign. The decision-makers in the official campaign of Toomey profoundly under-utilized the internet, both in terms of in-state organizing, communication with supporters, and national fundraising. Toomey lost, and he could have won. They had the opportunity sitting here, and his campaign directors failed him by not grasping it.
As you recall, MeetUp was one of the big innovations during that cycle. Toomey's campaign did nothing to embrace it. Jerome noted "Pat Toomey's website doesn't even have a Meetup icon on the site." Jerome's piece is a good read, especially as he continues into Toomey's use of the web (or lack of) as a communication and fundraising tool.
So what's the real reason we out-preform the Republican side of the aisle online? I am not exactly sure. Maybe it's technology. With ActBlue, you can pick any candidate you'd like to fudnraise for. The GOP's version picked the original candidates for you. Maybe it's a trust of the tools? Dem supporters online see candidates like John Edwards using ActBlue as their sole online campaign contribution agent. There's a certain level of validation there. Even in 2004 candidates were using ActBlue exclusively (Jeff Seemann was the first).
Maybe it's the fact that we have better "online story-tellers" and that Republican users as a whole aren't as crazy as Michelle Malkin.
Maybe there is more "buy-in" from our candidates/campaigns/bloggers/strategist
s and we've done a better job of "closing the triange" than the Republicans.
Maybe it's because our campaigns have really embraced and helped build (through campaigns) a thriving local blogosphere in many states across the country: most notable being CT and VA.
Maybe it's the team of 4, 5, 6 or more local bloggers that fill important niches on-the-ground: news consolidation, capturing video online, doing the hard work of getting video at events, community sites like MyLeftNutmeg and others that use SoapBlox?
Maybe it's the relationship between campaigns, the national party and large bloggers?
Maybe it's the relationship between campaigns and local bloggers?
Maybe it's firms like Blue State Digital who create the tools you see on Obama's website, or the tools necessary to pull off the 1 million door knocker canvass the DNC did last year?
Maybe it's because rank and file Republicans felt more complacent than Democrats faced down time after time by a unitary executive and do-nothing Congress?
Maybe it's because our "large bloggers" like Stoller, Markos and others have real life, everyday campaign experience? Even excellent bloggers like Jane Hamsher lived a life on the trail in CT.
Maybe it's because of research intensive sites like ThinkProgress and Senate Majority Project that share vital information with other bloggers?
Maybe it's the Drum Major institute?
Maybe its BagNewsNotes?
Maybe it's pollster.com?
Maybe it's the way bloggers communicate with eachother in googlegroups?
Maybe it's all of those things that we just do a little (or a lot better) down the line?
Far be it from me not to jump right back into the glory days of last August.
One House Democratic official said party members had been "urgently trying to send the message to Connecticut voters that a Lieberman loss jeopardizes our ability to take back the House." Some Democratic officials said they can already imagine the ads in November races saying that Lieberman, once within a few hundred votes of being Vice President of the United States, is now "not liberal enough" for the Democratic Party.
It's a shack. There's four things on the menu, each of which you can order in mild, mixed, or hot. Then there is the potato salad and drinks ... no water though.
Were I on death row, it's what I would order.
Oh! And it's only open on Friday and Saturday. A lot of the old sports stars come back for it. Rumor had it that Jerry Colangelo (owner of the Diamondbacks and Suns) once had his personal jet fly him to CU simply for Po Boys.