Justin Hart of MyManMitt makes an argument for why Fred Thompson is going nowhere if he uses the internet. This is, of course, correct, as far as he takes it… which isn’t very far. His position is a straw man.

First, Thompson could do what Mitt Romney is doing, which I have reviewed very positively. It is an axiom of politics that candidate-to-voter contact moves votes like nothing else. Romney is using technology to enhance that.

Second, Thompson will probably use technology to communicate regularly with his base. He is collecting a lot of information, as I noticed. Thompson has demonstrated that he can produce content on a pretty steady basis that some group of activists will consume. Imagine delivering issue content to his base once or twice a week, as he has been doing at ABC and NRO. That would be new. And, of course, they would hope people would forward it around.

Third, another axiom of politics is that voter-to-voter contact is very effective. It is clear from early results on the website that the Thompson online campaign team intends to emphasize voter-to-voter contact. Even the most obvious implementation collects that information. And it probably appends it to a voter list, so you have demographics and any other stuff you have about the volutneers, voters, etc.

Now, it is clear that in Iowa and New Hampshire, and to a lesser extent South Carolina, pressing the flesh is important. But you can’t press every piece of flesh. And you can have virtual contact in-between press-fleshing.  And that’s what the game is.

What Justin’s post probably tells us is that the Romney campaign intends to push the "Fred is lazy" meme. It also tells us that they are a little worried that they might be facing an innovative campaign. They could lose all their lame process stories to a more clever campaign…



Rachel · June 7, 2007 at 6:33 PM

I think he is also the one who wrote that Fred helps Romney by hurting Rudy.
I hope they keep telling themselves that…

jbonham76 · June 7, 2007 at 11:16 PM

That was me who wrote that Rachel. Glad your reading our blog.

Patrick Ruffini :: What’s the Online Universe? · June 7, 2007 at 11:11 PM

[…] MyManMitt’s Justin Hart and the Eye are engaged in a debate over whether Fred Thompson (or a candidate like him) can win using the Internet. […]

Patrick Ruffini :: Running Word of Web Campaigns · June 8, 2007 at 6:43 PM

[…] Justin Hart is still saying the blogosphere is not all it’s cracked up to be in terms of reaching voters. But again I have to channel Soren on this: that’s a straw man. No one is saying that the average voter is reading blogs. At best, online is their primary news source — but it’s still the early adopters (maybe the top 1-2 million of the primary electorate) who check blogs even occasionally. […]

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