updated 03:55 pm EDT, Wed August 9, 2006
Lieberman Ousted by Net
A cynical view of American politics sees elections solely as the products of momentum. An existing reputation, a large amount of money, and support from the status quo is often seen as enough to win the ballot; genuine consensus is virtually a non-factor. Yesterday, Joe Lieberman learned the hard way that politicians now ignore the Internet at their peril. In Connecticut, Lieberman's campaign to represent the Democrats in the Senate was given a startling upset by a relatively unknown candidate, Ned Lamont. Despite the blessing of major elements within the Democratic Party, Lieberman suffered in no small part due to the activist campaigning of the high-profile Internet site MoveOn.org. More after the jump.
While the site had the advantage of gathering support in a state which is already likely to be against the Iraq war (which Lieberman continues to support), its aggressive efforts to recruit volunteers in the run-up to the election helped change Lamont from a barely-known, anti-war newcomer to the clear winner. People spurred by MoveOn made almost 80,000 phone calls and went door-to-door gathering support while Lieberman largely resorted to conventional campaign tactics. It remains to be seen if this is a definitive trend or simply the result of special circumstances.