Bloggers' role in Nashville's mayoral race
S-town Mike has a nice, succinct post on that issue. I think he's perhaps a bit humble on the issue, but then I'm not in Nashville and I haven't been covering the race. I will say, though, that the blogging of the mayor's race is the most I've seen in a city election, and I'm no rookie to blogging.
In his post-election post, Mike says:
Before any hyper-analysis and hyperventilating over the question of the influence of bloggers on elections starts up tomorrow, I just have to say that I do not assume that my endorsements of candidates have any more impact on people than any other voter who talks to friends and co-workers about whom they vote for. If candidates do not already have a base of people that they have organized or if they lack maximum media saturation, then the "netroots" cannot contribute much. However, in a close race, having bloggers in one's corner certainly doesn't hurt a candidate. It is one more medium among many.
He also comments:I never had any delusions of grandeur of what I might do for the Briley Campaign, so his note of appreciation helps close tonight's results in my mind. Let's just put questions of influence to bed, which is exactly where I am now headed.
This may sound snarky but I'm serious. Don't sell blogging's impact short, Mike. After all, the bar has not been set very high:
Research suggests that newspaper endorsements have only a slight impact on election results. From 1940 to 2002, newspaper endorsements changed perhaps 1 percentage point of the vote.
(For the record, I've never liked newspaper endorsements. Their role in elections is antiquated to say the least, especially with the advent of the Internet. If I were an editor, I'd dump endorsements and use the space for something people actually care about.)
The influence cannot be zero. I met alot of new people with whom I expect to be able to continue to build a larger conversation. Even if it means no more than a face to face conversation, I at least met alot more people than I would have face to face. That's worth something.