Originally posted Wednesday, Sepyember 06, 2006The Bivings Group recently released a study on the Internet`s role in political campaigns. The study looks at the use of the internet in the 2006 Senatorial Campaign in the US and specifically addresses blogs. Not unexpected did the study find that challengers, regardless of party affiliation tended to include web tools such as blogs at a higher rate than incumbents. 32 percent of the challengers, which rally are not really a high percentage, included blogs in their campaign compared to 10 percent of the incumbents.
The conclusion to why blogs are modestly represented in campaigns (here referring to the Senatorial campaign) is that it is highly time consuming and does not give the controlled communication that the campaign desire:
Newspapers are full of stories about blogging by politicians. The success of Howard Dean’s campaign blog was the big online story of the 2004 election cycle. Yet, in reality, not that many campaigns are using this technology.
First off, it is important to remember the demographics of the candidates running for office and the limitations of the campaigns’ themselves. Candidates are extremely busy, and older Americans are unlikely to have the time or inclination to personally participate in the blogosphere. For many campaigns, having a blog just doesn’t make strategic sense. Many campaigns also have extremely limited resources, and are hesitant to devote these resources to an activity like blogging. Second, there is a perception among many political consultants and candidates that blogging is a risky strategy. Candidates worry that by fully participating in the blogosphere, they will be dragged further to the left or to the right. Bloggers are typically the most active and ideological of Americans, so there is a fear by some that reaching out to these groups may turn away moderate voters.