The discussion focusing on the impact of the Netroots on the Election 2006 continues.
According to Ari Melber of The Huffington Post the Netroots’ impact goes beyond wins and losses. Melber argues that by focusing too much about the metric we will miss the role blogs play in the bigger picture. We should focus more on the power bloggers can have in prioritizing substantive issues and changing the direction of campaigns early on in the election race. Melber uses the example of Senator Gorge Allen to state his argument:
Sen. George Allen began the general election as a supposedly unbeatable incumbent and presidential favorite, which seemed to inoculate him from candidate scrutiny. So when much of the Virginia and national media failed to question Allen's despicable record on race, (with the exception of Ryan Lizza), blogger Mike Stark confronted Allen directly about his use of racial epithets, which Allen denied -- the story broke a month later. The Allen campaign later assaulted Stark for asking questions at a public event. This was a courageous example of blog activism prioritizing substantive issues and changing the direction of a statewide campaign. It definitely helped Webb win, but even if he had not, it is the kind of netroots impact that's hard to measure but hugely helpful to the Democratic Party.
I agree with Melber; while it is important to capture the significance of blogs through statistics and quantifications (this is still something we have to do more of) it is also necessary to look for the factors that is harder to measure. Blog Campaigning will try to look more at this in the coming weeks.