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The great thing about the Internets is that there's always someone out there who can build a better mouse trap than the guys on teevee.  Nate is a great example.  I think CNN won the contest for best polling (O53-46M, which was basically dead-on), but Nate got the state-by-state results more right, although it's to CNN's credit that they were right there with him.  I think he only missed Indiana and the 2nd CD in Nebraska.  We all generally bet on the high end of the expected range, though, so the tradmed still loses.  Even on insider-baseball stuff, the bloggers still get it right more often than the people who should actually know the insider-baseball stuff.

Being across the Pond helps.  I know it helped me a lot to read up on the '06 election in the British papers, which really -- even in the Murdoch ones -- do produce strong coverage and commentary much of the time (the notable exception being the Beeb, which is too polluted by Beltway people).  The American papers didn't give the Dems a chance in '06, but I'd read the Brits and think, "Huh, son of a gun, I think the Dems may just pull it off."  Michael Tomasky of the Guardian is very sharp, and the FT gets top prize for journalism after somehow getting ahold of that spreadsheet with all of the Obama campaign's primary projections (either it was a scary-accurate fake or it was real, and either way there's a genius out there somewhere who knows every congressional district in America better than any human being should).

Although, folks in Ireland were very, very hip to the American election when my significat other and her family were over there a while back.  Everywhere they went, folks wanted to talk about Obama and boo McCain, and the Irish al knew the dynamics of the election better than she and her family did.

Part of it was perhaps a matter of it being an interesting election with a lot of firsts.  (I keep saying to people at work who sigh and say they're glad it's over, "No way.  Best. Election. Ever.")  But I suspect similar developments will occur in all democracies in developed countries where the Interwebz are easily accessed.  Even in less-developed countries.  Hell, the North Korean dissidents are probably sharper with technology than anybody.

This whole blogosphere thing is still in its infancy.  It took the Republicans decades to build majorities in both houses and take the presidency.  It took the Dems four years, and they beat the living snot out of the Reps in both elections for the first time since the 1930s.  Pretty damned impressive.  And no way it happens if people like Kos aren't looking around thinking, "You know, this guy Jon Tester looks pretty damned good.  Kinda fat, weird military haircut, organic farmer, very Montana.  Fuck Rahm, this guy would make a good Senate candidate."  And Tester wins.  And Webb.  And Whatshername in Missouri.

And you watch: It'll wind up being much better.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Dec 26th, 2008 at 10:35:41 AM EST
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