Thursday, January 3, 2008

Is Conservative Blog Readership on the Rise?

This post led Rottenchester to speculate that the national left-of-center blogs might be decreasing in viewership because of the rise of local left-of-center blogs. Andrew Sullivan ponders whether "the intellectual ferment among conservatives [is] more engrossing right now" in explaining the rise of viewship of national right-of-center blogs.

Both offer valid points. As the blogoshere continues to expand in both content and readership, the "ol' stalwarts" like Daily Kos lose readers to more independent, locally run liberal blogs that cover both national as well as local politics. I believe the same phenomenon will eventually happen to national conservative blogs like Red State as more local conservative blogs like mine continue to grow.

But why the rise of national conservative blogs over the last few months? I think Sullivan has a valid point here. Prior to December, most people knew that Hillary was the inevitable Democrat nominee, while the Republican race was still fairly scattered, with Rudy appearing to lead the pack but not by runaway numbers. Over the last few months, the Republican primary has gotten even more uncertain, with many conservative pundits and bloggers scattering their endorsements. In fact, read the last few days of Red State posts, and you'll see several different endorsements by their editors for each of the top five candidates. Even though Obama and Edwards are rising in Iowa, the latest polls still show Hillary leading both nationally and in every other state contest, making the Democrat primary much more of a snoozer, despite the MSM's panting for Obama. (Editor's note: I'm not bashing Obama here. Between him and Hillary, I'd choose him in a heartbeat, but one must admit that the MSM did everything it could to level the playing field here and create a horserace, generating much news for them to "report" in the last month, leading to the rise of both Huckabee and Obama, for better or for worse.)

However, you will notice the greatest rise in national conservative blog readership came in October, and has been slightly decreasing since. Back in October, the Republican primary was not as in flux as it is today, since Rudy appeared to be the clear frontrunner then. I'm not exactly sure what caused this rise in October, particularly since my blog readership has only increased since then. Granted, I started this project in October, so one can only hope for more readers today. Scrolling through Michelle Malkin's October postings, I noticed that the whole Rush Limbaugh "phony soldiers" controversy and auction of that silly letter all happened then, so that could be one of many reasons for this, as nothing solidifies hardcore conservatives (including me) like the MSM and liberal blogs misreporting a story, along with Democrat senators trying to censor a conservative, particularly if that conservative is Rush Limbaugh.

Your comments and speculations on this are both encouraged and appreciated.

1 comment:

Rottenchester said...

I agree that another reason for the rise in readership of conservative blogs is the Republican presidential race.

In addition to the greater uncertainty and excitement of the Republican race (with the "lead changing hands" more than the Democratic race), the Republicans other than McCain are all first-time national candidates. So there's more to learn about them, so more reason to go read what's posted in a blog about them.

On the Democratic side, Clinton and Edwards are pretty much known quantities. Obama is the only new face on the block.