The National Journal/Hotline Blogometer today underscores the validity of efforts by bloggers to impact political races, including state political races (which interests me as a participant in the multiblog, state-oriented Roots Project). Talking about my own state, Oregon, the Blogometer's Bill Beutler writes:
The OR GOV primary is a few months off yet, but 1 group of bloggers cast its vote in the blogosphere nearly 6 months ago. It's called the Atkinson for Governor Blog Network -- in support of state Sen. Jason Atkinson (R) -- and while it's certainly not a new thing of itself, it is a new iteration of blogger activism. Like the liberal bloggers who came together in early '03 to support Howard Dean, bloggers selected the candidate prior to the campaign reaching out to them. Like the Blogs for Bush effort led by the still-operational namesake/flagship blog, bloggers have volunteered to associate themselves with the campaign. What's also notable is that this is happening at the state level. In '04 most blog activity was concentrated on the WH contest, but the rapid growth of the blogosphere has enabled parallel blogospheres (of varying size) in each state.
The rest of the article is worth reading, if only to get a sense of the direction the political blogosphere is heading. I'm convinced that blogs today will turn out to be as influential as the pamphleteers were in Revolutionary times, or the Muckrakers were during the Progressive era. Our goal should be to ensure that liberal blogs maintain an advantage as blogging makes the vital shift from words to deeds -- which, paralleling Howard Dean's 50-state DNC strategy, must include working hard to develop blogs as rallying points for boots-on-the-ground grassroots work on the state and local level.
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