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Blogosphere is pivotal ally in Texas election

You might support a particular candidate, but whom does the local blog favor?

The Web universe is said to be rallying behind the candidacy of Army Lt. Col. Rick Noriega, who is challenging Republican Sen. John Cornyn for Cornyn's Senate seat in Texas.

Noriega ' a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives who is now on active duty with the Army National Guard ' has never run in a statewide election, but he launched his campaign partly in response to bloggers' requests, according to his campaign Web site.

He commanded an infantry battalion while deployed in Afghanistan. He favors withdrawing American troops from Iraq and improving veterans' benefits.

Cornyn is a former Texas attorney general, and his political career is closely linked to that of President Bush. Polling reports generally show Cornyn ahead of Noriega by single digits.

Noriega prominently cites bloggers' support in his online election information. According to his campaign literature, he is 'a favorite of the Texas blogosphere. Noriega was launched into the limelight with the 'Draft Noriega for Senate' campaign started by Texas Netroots. Noriega's campaign continues to gain steam on blogs all across the nation after two new independent polls found the Texas Senate race in a dead heat.'

According to Noriega, his Senate campaign received early support from Texas-oriented blogs such as Off the Kuff, South Texas Chisme and Capitol Annex.

Campaign consultants have been quick to seize on alternative means to publicize their candidates and causes because general-circulation newspapers and broadcast TV news have receded in their roles as horizontal communications methods. Closely targeted media such as blogs, specialist Web sites and so forth are now seen as more effective means of reaching specific groups of people.

Posted by Wilson P. Dizard III on Jun 02, 2008 at 9:39 AM


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