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Duncan Hunter’s broadband bypass strategy

BY David All | Tuesday, March 27 2007

Duncan Hunter's campaign team has come to a few realizations: He's not the front-runner. He can't command media attention like some of the other nominees. And his biggest strength is his unique blend of being both a populist and a conservative.

Roll up those strings in to a ball of yarn in the modern world and you've got Duncan Hunter's "broadband bypass strategy."

Let's dig in...

Over the past few weeks, I've caught myself reading blog posts by Duncan Hunter which wind up in my RSS feedreader. And no, I'm not simply subscribing to Duncan's blog or pro-Hunter blogs. I'm simply reading the same conservative political blogs that I always read. And, he's been there.

In fact, here's a sampling of the guest posts (provided to me by his campaign):

  • GOP Bloggers [cross-posted at Blogs for Bush],
  • Captain's Quarters, and
  • Polipundit.
  • That's impressive. Lots of writing/editing by Duncan. All original content.

    And he didn't stop there. In fact, Duncan has made himself available for several interviews with conservative bloggers including:

  • Instapundit,
  • Redstate,
  • HotAir,
  • A Keyboard and a .45,
  • Pundit Review, and, of course,
  • Right Wing News, which is run by his modern media guy, John Hawkins.
  • Of Hunter's strategy, Hawkins writes in an IM:
    Duncan is the most conservative and appealing candidate to Republican voters, but he can't match up with the top tier contenders in name recognition yet. So, we're trying to make up for that by reaching out to conservatives on the internet. They're some of the most informed voters, it doesn't cost a lot to reach them, and I believe that once Duncan takes off on the net, it'll bleed over into his offline poll numbers as people start to try to find out why he's generating so much buzz.

    And it could be paying off...at least the online part...

    According to an internal memo I've received, which tallies the "Net Acceptability" (Voters who say the candidate is acceptable minus the unacceptable votes) of blog readers at the monthly GOP Bloggers Straw Poll, Hunter is trending well:

    November 2006: -8.1%
    December 2006: -11.6%
    January 2007: -7.3%
    February 2007: + 8.1%
    March 2007 (so far): +19.7

    And according to techPresident's myspace friend's counter, though currently far behind of the Republican pack, his friends ticker is trending the second fastest of all GOP candidates: "rising +78.0% 767 friends."

    So what does it all mean?

    Unfortunately, it's still unclear, because it's early.

    But as I said when I first broke the news about John Hawkins assuming the task of building up Hunter's buzz in the conservative sphere:
    Logic, history and instinct tell me that Duncan has a tough road ahead of him. It is not that folks don’t like him. He is a great guy and no one questions his conservative credentials. His problem will be that he has a few people ahead of him and it’ll be tough to get the mainstream media to train their limited resources on his candidacy.

    But if the tide does turn - and lightning could strike in this election - the credit will no doubt fall in the lap of John Hawkins and the Revolution.

    While the mainstream media focuses almost exclusively on the latest hot-button issue to cross their path, Hawkins and Hunter both deserve a bowl of porridge for being one of the few Republican campaigns to actually target, like a laser, on the voters they are trying to influence (to influence others).