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Daily Digest: And It Keeps on Going

BY Joshua Levy | Wednesday, February 6 2008

Super Tuesday Post-Mortem Edition

  • What an exciting night! Nancy Scola and I were up late liveblogging the results, and while we had to rely on information from CNN, MSNBC and elsewhere, we like to think we added a little spark to the results as they rolled in. Thanks to fantastic liveblogging software CoverItLive, our audience could join in, making the night much more fun than if it had been two boring professional bloggers running the show.

  • But what about those results? Check out Ben Smith and Carrie Budoff Brown’s coverage at the Politico and Patrick Healy’s roundup at the New York Times for good summaries of the Dems; and the GOP summary from Jonathan Martin and John F. Harris at the Politico and Michael Cooper at the New York Times for the GOP. The conventional wisdom is that John McCain has pulled off decisive victories that, as the Politico’s Jonathan Martin and John F. Harris put it, are “enough to bolster a widespread perception that there is no halting his steady-if-staggering path to the Republican nomination.” McCain won a commanding 511 delegates to 176 for Mitt Romney and 147 for Mike Huckabee. Romney is headed for some frustration, as he is running out of money and has consistently lost ground to McCain. Huckabee, meanwhile, is still hanging in there, priming himself for the VP pump.

  • Meanwhile, the Dems came to a virtual tie, with Hillary Clinton winning big states like California and New York but Barack Obama taking a broader swath of the country, eventually winning 13 out of the 22 states up for grabs (New Mexico is still too close to call).

  • NBC Political Director Chuck Todd was the go-to guy for an explanation of the confusing issue of delegates (who won the most last night, who had the most before, what’s the deal with superdelegates, etc.). Check out his Picture Pages-esque explanation, in which he shows that while Obama trails in overall delegates, the upcoming caucuses are looking very favorable. (Hat tip, Sarah Stirland at Threat Level)

  • But what about the intertubes? The Google Maps and Twitter mashup — which mapped primary-related Twitter posts in real-time and showed primary results, also in real time — was all the rage last night. It’s still working, though you might get a weird sense of déja vu if you stare at it for too long.

  • Newsweek’s Brian Braiker rounds up the myriad ways tech-obsessed politicos (like us) followed the action last night, from Twitter to YouTube to Flickr to our own fair liveblog. Adding a warning for his less web-inclined readers, Braiker writes that “These sites capture the passion, excitement and fun of a night where 24 states are holding caucuses and primary elections, and voter turnout is expected to shatter records. But like the rest of the Web, they’re prone to pass along inanities, rumor, hearsay and erroneous information, often mixed in with fact.” That’s our web!

  • Hillary is a PC and Barack is a Mac? How about Hillsoft vs. Goobama? Sarah Stirland discovered that Microsoft employees tend to donate to Hillary, and Google employees prefer Barack. That from data made available by the Huffington Post’s Fundrace which, as we’ve pointed out before, makes it easy to discover who, say, George Clooney is donating to (it’s Obama).

In Other News

  • Global Voices — the amazing site that collects posts from bloggers around the world and advocates for press freedom — has launched Voices without Votes, a site that collects the perspectives on the American presidential race from international bloggers and citizen media folks. On the front page alone we’re treated to a post about the Middle East, Obama, and religion; a Haitian blogger’s view of the race; and international responses to Super Tuesday. This has quickly become a must-read.

  • The jokesters at 23/6 have decided that now that John McCain is rapidly cementing his lead as the GOP frontrunner, voters will be taking a closer look at him. And what voters will see is: “this dude is old. Will the fact that McCain looks every one of his 71 years influence voters come Election Day?” They’ve helpfully put together a graphic detailing the effects of his hard life — from Vietnam to his divorce to Rudy Giuliani’s endorsement — on his face. Pretty brutal, but slightly funny. Also, check out these new videos from Air America’s Sam Seder, who’s been trucking through America talking to voters and, of course, gently mocking them, along with the candidates.

  • Michael Cornfield of 720 Strategies and ClickZ’s Kate Kaye have co-authored a white paper on the state of online political advertising. The prognosis: it’s stuck in dark ages. While candidates are utilizing web advertising, it hasn’t made the leap to become a “killer app” the way online video and fundraising have. “To borrow an image and sound from one of the most famous scenes in film history,” write Cornfield and Kaye, “the ape has not tossed the bone into the air to the fanfare from ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra.’”

In Case You Missed It…

If it were not for the internet, and all the campaign- and voter-generated activism that it has enabled, Hillary Clinton would already be the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, and Barack Obama or another reform-minded candidate would be trailing badly, writes Micah Sifry. But the old winnowing process, where Big Money and the Bigfoot Media dominated, is being broken by the internet. Witness the rise of Barack Obama…

Micah Sifry, Andrew Rasiej, and I have been taking turns speaking to WNYC talk-show host Brian Lehrer on his weekly TV show. Watch me and Wired’s Sarah Lai Stirland talking about Yahoo Buzz! charts and videos last week — we’ll post the videos of Micah Sifry and Andrew Rasiej as soon as they’re up.

The big news in this campaign cycle is that online ads by the campaigns are expected to hit $20 million. Woo hoo, exclaimed Alan Rosenblatt, that is a lot of money! Well, actually, it is not.

While he was waiting for the Super Tuesday results to roll in, Colin Delany surveyed the candidates’ websites. One thing he noticed was intense emotion among supporters on Obama and Clinton’s blogs.

Zephyr Teachout was also desperately looking for ways to waste time while she waiting for the Super Tuesday results to come. Among her solutions were writing haikus and making pranks calls with Mitt Romney’s voice.