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    Success of ‘going negative’ changes campaign strategies
    Blogs and Endorsements


    The Directors of RedState.com, the independent Republican-oriented political group blog, recently offered a formal endorsement of a candidate for the upcoming House Republican leadership race. They have made endorsements of other kinds in the past.Newspapers, and to a lesser extent magazines and television news programs, have for a long time formally endorsed candidates for office. Bloggers have also been openly pro-Dean or pro-Bush or pro-Clark, etc., but the formal endorsement is another sign of many bloggers professionalizing their style and content.Incidentally, there is a large but now aging body of research in mass communication studies on the “impact” of newspaper endorsements on voter attitudes and behaviors. Generally, the findings of such research are: (a) newspaper endorsements of candidates can have some influence on some voters; (b) fewer readers actually read newspaper editorials nowadays; (c) newspaper endorsements are more likely to influence campaigns than voters, in that the campaign will use major endorsements in their advertising and especially employ choice quotes in their own favor; and (d) other sources of endorsement, such as personal friends and family, have more influence on how we vote.

    See list of studies in DOCUMENTS/Readings section.

    The point about the significant impact of personal influence on our voting is intriguing in relation to blogs because, as my students report and I talk about in my book BLOGWARS, an important reason people become loyal readers and even commenters on particular political blogs is that they feel they have a personal affiliation–even affection–for the blog editor. A blog endorsement, then, might be seen by blog readers as more of a personal recommendation by an intimate than a hierarchical suggestion by strangers.

    As we academics like to say, more research is needed!

    Originally posted on Thursday, January 19, 2006 at PolicybyBlog.

    Reader Comments (1)

    I believe in the in future formal endorsements in blogs will play a role in the way bloggers vote more than newspapers. The fact that someone can read a blog and then post there own ideas and comments on that blog makes it a more personal experience than reading a newspaper and saying to yourself “I agree with this.” This “personal” experience and interaction makes blogs more appealing than newspapers and magazines.

    Loyalty to certain blogs will may also play a part in the decision of voters. Not only will an endorsement help gain votes from its loyal bloggers, but it may also cause a candidate to lose votes from bloggers loyal to a “rival” blog.

    It shall be interesting to see if blogging begins to play a part in future elections.

    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBevo

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    About
    The Dole Institute of Politics is a bipartisan facility. Our mission; to encourage political and civic involvement, especially among young people; to encourage civil discussion on important issues; to emphasize that politics is an honorable profession; and to provide opportunities for all to interact with political leaders, practitioners and writers.
    While content on the blog will be moderated, we in no way wish to stifle vigorous debate. We request that participants engaging in the online discussion avoid personal, vitriolic attacks, and maintain respect for different opinions.
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    A Summary of the 2006 Blogger-Reader Survey

    Fall 2006 Blogger/Reader Survey Details and Research Reports
    ******
    In December of 2006 Dr. Dhavan Shah of the University of Wisconsin and his “Blogclub” of graduate students and Dr. David D. Perlmutterof the University of Kansas conducted a survey of major political blogs and their readers. The project was partially sponsored by a grant from the Knight/Carnegie Foundation’s Future of Journalism initiative. The summary of the results are posted here--please fully cite us if you refer to the findings.

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