At The Start Of The Obama Era, Is The Energy On The Left Or Right?


My theory has long been that if Democrat was elected in 2008, conservatives would be energized and liberals would lose steam. There is some evidence that this is happening.

For example, from a WAPO Story about the liberal Take Back America conference,

That ambivalence could account for the lethargy at this year’s conference; as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh know, it’s more fun to be an opposition bomb-thrower than a palace guard. “This place was more high-energy last year,” said Roger Hickey, who co-directs the Campaign for America’s Future with Borosage. “Last year people were jazzed up. . . . Now we’re getting into the sausage making of legislation.”

Hickey estimates attendance dropped from 2,500 last year to 1,500 this year, and even that may overstate things. At yesterday morning’s four concurrent “issue briefings,” 585 chairs were set out. Only 213 of them were occupied, including just 15 for the session on global warming. “Radio row” was quiet, the “TV Terrace” was empty, and two people sat typing on “Blogger Boulevard.”

“It’s been much less busy this year,” said a guy in the nearly empty exhibit hall who was handing out stickers from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force saying “Power is Sexy.” Nobody was shopping at the book kiosk in the middle of the room, where the titles leaned toward the battles of the George W. Bush years: “The Constitution in Crisis . . . a Blueprint for Impeachment.” “The Uprising.” “Plunder and Blunder.” “The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule.”

This is also playing out on Twitter, which the Right seems to be embracing more than the Left and with the Tea Parties, which are slowly but surely starting up another round that will culminate around July 4th.

However, as a blogger, I was more interested to see how this was playing out in the blogosphere. My instinct, early on in the Obama Administration, is that there has been some moderate growth in the Rightroots and a slightly larger drop-off on the Left.

But, it can be difficult to test an assertion like that. Still, I wanted to give it a go, so I decided to pick 10 liberal blogs and 7 conservative blogs randomly along with all 3 of mine — and check out how their traffic has done over the last few months. The easiest way to do that was via Alexa, which actually has a handy-dandy reading showing how much of an increase in reach each blog has had over the past three months. Obviously, this isn’t a foolproof measure, but I think it should be a pretty good indication of which was the trends are going.

First off, here’s the growth of the selected right-of-center blogs over the past three months.

Right Wing Video: +310%
Michelle Malkin: +27%
Hot Air: +21%
Newsbusters: +19%
Redstate: + 15%
Power Line: + 14%
IMAO: +12%
Right Wing News: +10%
Conservative Grapevine: +8%
Atlas Shrugs: -4%

Now, for the left-of-center blogs over the past three months.

The Smirking Chimp: +36%
Daily Kos: +33%
Pandagon: +30%
Feministing: +12%
Firedoglake: +11%
Talk Left: +11%
MyDD: +8%
Sadly No: +2%
Feministe: -14%
Oliver Willis: -29%

Based on these numbers, I’m going to have to say that so far, there doesn’t appear to be a big shift happening in traffic. Both the Right and the Left still appear, for the most part, to be growing.

Could that be because the Left has been energized by Obama’s big agenda? Perhaps. Is everyone benefitting from traffic returning after an immediate post-election dip? Maybe. I still have to think that eventually, the netroots is going to stall out while the Rightroots really takes off, but so far, it doesn’t appear to have happened yet.

Also see,