'How Republicans Won the Internet'

Rick Moran
Two conservative new media gurus, Mindy Finn and Patrick Ruffini, have penned an article for the Washington Post in which they point to the innovative web campaign run by Scott Brown to highlight the fact that the GOP has caught up to the left on the internet:

Democratic candidates don't have a monopoly on online organizing anymore. Brown and his campaign staffers deserve the credit for proving this, but it's a reason to celebrate for us and our new-media colleagues, too -- we've been working to get the GOP into the Web era for the past decade. We've been laughed out of high-level campaign meetings, told that online budgets are the first thing to go and informed that having a Facebook page is "unpresidential." And it wasn't until recently that people stopped asking us to fix their computers.But we've always had faith that the rightroots could organize for victory, as the netroots had on the left. It just needed some nurturing. And now that it's launched Sen.-elect Brown in Massachusetts, the online-organizing playing field is more even than it's ever been in the past 10 years of American politics.

From the beginning of the race, Brown's campaign knew its candidate was a long shot. To have any hope, his team needed to get his message directly to voters. This populist approach -- and the hope for a 41st Senate vote against the Democrats' health-care overhaul -- inspired the rightroots to latch onto Brown's campaign through blogs, Facebook and Twitter. This paid off in an overflow of volunteers and contributors from across the country and a nearly five-point victory.

Incredibly, by the last week of the campaign, they were raising more than a million a day on the internet.

It goes beyond purely social networking. Constant innovation on line is the key to victory in 2010:

The Internet isn't a line item in a campaign budget anymore. It's not just something you have to pay for, underneath catering and radio ads. It has reorganized the way Americans do everything -- including elect their leaders. Candidates who would have had no chance before the Internet can now overcome huge odds, with the people they energize serving as the backbone of their campaign.

We don't have it all figured out. Like the technology companies whose products we rely on, the only way forward is to innovate constantly. Campaigns must continually update their playbooks.

The left has been put on notice; conservatives are dragging the GOP into the 21st century whether they like it or not. And that means that the days of not being competitive everywhere are gone.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

 

Two conservative new media gurus, Mindy Finn and Patrick Ruffini, have penned an article for the Washington Post in which they point to the innovative web campaign run by Scott Brown to highlight the fact that the GOP has caught up to the left on the internet:

Democratic candidates don't have a monopoly on online organizing anymore. Brown and his campaign staffers deserve the credit for proving this, but it's a reason to celebrate for us and our new-media colleagues, too -- we've been working to get the GOP into the Web era for the past decade. We've been laughed out of high-level campaign meetings, told that online budgets are the first thing to go and informed that having a Facebook page is "unpresidential." And it wasn't until recently that people stopped asking us to fix their computers.

But we've always had faith that the rightroots could organize for victory, as the netroots had on the left. It just needed some nurturing. And now that it's launched Sen.-elect Brown in Massachusetts, the online-organizing playing field is more even than it's ever been in the past 10 years of American politics.

From the beginning of the race, Brown's campaign knew its candidate was a long shot. To have any hope, his team needed to get his message directly to voters. This populist approach -- and the hope for a 41st Senate vote against the Democrats' health-care overhaul -- inspired the rightroots to latch onto Brown's campaign through blogs, Facebook and Twitter. This paid off in an overflow of volunteers and contributors from across the country and a nearly five-point victory.

Incredibly, by the last week of the campaign, they were raising more than a million a day on the internet.

It goes beyond purely social networking. Constant innovation on line is the key to victory in 2010:

The Internet isn't a line item in a campaign budget anymore. It's not just something you have to pay for, underneath catering and radio ads. It has reorganized the way Americans do everything -- including elect their leaders. Candidates who would have had no chance before the Internet can now overcome huge odds, with the people they energize serving as the backbone of their campaign.

We don't have it all figured out. Like the technology companies whose products we rely on, the only way forward is to innovate constantly. Campaigns must continually update their playbooks.

The left has been put on notice; conservatives are dragging the GOP into the 21st century whether they like it or not. And that means that the days of not being competitive everywhere are gone.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky