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Daily Digest: Does McCain Get the Tubes?

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, January 31 2008

The Web on the Candidates

  • Almost 45 percent of voters think the next president will know as much as them about the Internet, according to a poll from 463, the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, and Zogby International. That number is kind of surprising; no offense to John McCain, but do you really think he knows as much about the tubes as you do? Meanwhile, “38 percent of 18-29 year-olds don’t think the candidates know as much as them, but wish that they would,” which sounds a bit more reasonable, unless Mitt Romney has a secret Twitter account (@rudy giuliani, thanks a lot for that, um endorsement!) that we haven’t gotten word of yet. (hat tip Tech Daily Dose)

  • This is also a great stat from the poll, courtesy of the 463 blog: “Internet = smart. 89 percent of respondents said that the access to information found on the Internet has made them smarter. Four percent say that the distraction and time-wasting online has made them dumber.” Self-assessment of intelligence is always reliable; did I tell you I have an IQ of 200? I know so because I read the failblog.

  • techPresident contributor Patrick Ruffini is dedicated to making a Republican win the White House in November, so he’s working with Rightroots on a project to funnel money to the eventual Republican nominee, so he’s set up a site asking Republican voters to pledge to contribute to the GOP nominee — whoever he is — on Feb. 7, two days after Super Tuesday. Ruffini is worried that both Clinton and Obama already have enough money to start attacking the Republican nominee (if he’s chosen after Feb. 5), while neither McCain, whose money troubles are well documented, nor Romney, who is pouring his personal fortune into the campaign, have the money to fight back as effectively. We’ll see if it works. John McCain appears to be the frontrunner for the GOP, but for the Dems we could be in for a long slog.

  • Craig Newmark — the Craig in Craigslist — chatted with LAist about his ideas about things other than customer service. He’s been pretty public about his support for Barack Obama, and here he explains that support (“the guy is an actual leader”), his increasing activism in the presidential campaign (“It’s pretty boring stuff, but the boring stuff is the important stuff and I’m all about boredom.”), and his newly-acquired acting skills. It’s great stuff — Craig has a rare combination of irony and civic duty that makes his interviews a great read.

  • All of us in the blogopunditosphere were taken aback after New Hampshire, when our poll-predicting and prognosticating turned out horribly twisted conclusions, right? All of us but his Roveness. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove explains that “some new rules for winning the nomination have emerged and some old rules have been ratified.” A couple of interesting new rules (that we’ve been harping on for some time): “Television ads don’t matter as much as they used to.” Instead, voters are “relying more on personal exposure, information from social networks, alternative information sources like talk radio and the Internet, and local media coverage.” The other: “Technology allows a candidate to raise money quickly and inexpensively.” I guess this knowledge is still catching on… But seriously, there’s lots to chew on here. Read it.

  • The HuffPost’s Fundrace — which tracks the political contributions of celebrities, friends, and neighbors — is now mapping the data on a Google map. The result is ridiculously addictive (just search for “actor” and you’ll see what I mean).

The Candidates on the Web

  • After John McCain’s Florida victory, Wired’s Sarah Lai Stirland celebrates his frontrunner status. The victory “offers hope for a Republican candidate that, at least, understands science and technology,” she writes, citing McCain’s job as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and TechCrunch’s endorsement of him. But does he know how to use computers like the rest of us? Does he Twitter? That’s the ultimate test.

  • Every time a candidate drops out, marketing professor Elaine Young shoots straight to their websites to see if, and how, they’ve relayed the message to the web. After John Edwards officially dropped out yesterday, Young found a thank-you later and a sweet photo of John and Elizabeth waving from a bus window. She also saw that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had posted notes on their sites — both gracious, both making it clear that they’d love to keep him as a friend. Maybe more than a friend.

In Case You Missed It…

“…this is online, right? We’re not doing online. You have to submit the employer and show me three months of coverage in Los Angeles and I have to look at it before I can give you passes.” Sound familiar? Morra Aarons writes offers one story that proves that bloggers are still struggling to be understood as members of the press.

The title of yesterday's Daily Digest stated "And Then There Were Six." We weren't thinking of one candidate, who will go unnamed. There are now seven candidates in the running.