« Unity '08 | Main | The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan »

Political Blogs - the New Iowa?

I got a very interesting article put in my mailbox last week (physical mailbox!) written by David Perlmutter of LSU in the Chronicle of Higher Education about how the blogosphere was morphing into the a form of presidential primary. He gives a political scientist's perspective on the utility of blogs in politics (how are they useful, which candidates are the best bloggers, when would a candidate want to participate in blogs, etc.). Here's an excerpt:

Are blogs the new Iowa caucus? Since the 1970s, candidates who have done well in the presidential-nomination race have appeared early, during what the journalist Arthur Hadley called the "invisible primary." Raising money nationwide, they spend much of it — and much time — in Iowa and New Hampshire.

But if we think of "blogland" as a place, it is the real "first in the nation" testing ground: Bloggers generally decide whom to support for president (and whom to vociferously oppose) long before states hold caucuses and primaries. Furthermore, like the residents of the small towns in Iowa and New Hampshire, who have long been accustomed to individual attention from campaigners, bloggers cannot be swayed by one-size-fits-all pitches. The essence of blogging, after all, is personal connections between participants — the ability to talk and to talk back, the interplay of argument and critique.

Read the full article here.