Lisa Murkowski's "Nerdery"
BY Nancy Scola | Monday, November 15 2010
Patti Epler's on-going series of pieces for the Alaska Dispatch on the inner-workings of Lisa Murkowski's write-in campaign offers up this gem:
"The Nerdery," as it came to be called, was a collection of young, Internet savvy volunteers who manned laptops and kept on top of anything that had to do with Murkowski, [Joe] Miller and [Scott] McAdams. They used the Web not only to further the campaign through social networking but to stay on top of the political winds that were blowing fast and furious through the state and, at many times, through the entire nation.
Carol Sturgulewski, Murkowski's sister who spent afternoons at the 36th Avenue headquarters, describes it as a form of high-tech polling because the crew paid particular attention to comments on news stories and blogs, kind of an early warning system for possible trouble spots. They blasted out more than 250,000 e-mails in 46 days.
By early fall, there was plenty of material for The Nerdery to monitor. Media outlets, caught off guard by the Miller GOP primary victory, had begun researching him with zeal. The Democratic challenger, Scott McAdams, was also a political unknown and the press ramped up coverage of him as well. Bloggers from all political spectrums flooded the Internet with tidbits and tales of all three major candidates and the battle for the U.S. Senate in Alaska.
Epler also reports that the Murkowski drew motivation from, in the words of a campaign spokesperson, Joe Miller's "asinine tweets." Back in September , Miller took a trip to Washington where he seemed to be measuring the curtains for his eventual Senate office, posting on Twitter such distilled braggadocio as "Then there's the matter of a name plaque for the door." The Murkowksi campaign, writes, Epler, found the tweets "annoying."