Patrick Ruffini pushed out the news that Rudy Giuliani won the February GOP bloggers straw poll. David All has one interpretation of what this means. I have another. It will be easier for Rudy to control stories about him, especially negative stories.
First of all, this means that when the going gets rough for Rudy — and it will — the blogs are going to be slower to pick it up. They are going to give him the benefit of the doubt. In other words, we aren’t going to see the same sort of blog attack on Rudy that we saw on Edwards last week.
This will give Rudy a buffer on controlling the debate. Drudge may run it, but if the blogs don’t swarm… how much is it really going to matter? Especially when people are aware that Drudge is biased?
Second, as Patrick indicates, and anecdotal evidence confirms, it appears that Rudy Giuliani is taking votes from Mitt Romney:
The shift from Captain’s Quarters readers, the largest blog participating in the poll, is striking. Last month, the results were Romney 31.6%, Giuliani 25.6%, Gingrich 23%. This month, the results were Giuliani 43.9%, Gingrich 21.4%, Romney 16.5%.
This is going to make it even harder for Romney. He can’t defend himself with just the XXXX for Mitt blogs and Hugh Hewitt.
In other words, Patrick’s job is going to be easier. Now, who knows what will happen when people start packing these, as David suggests.