Bloggers' Obsession with Clinton Hints that the Race is Wide Open

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Ron Paul rises, but Hillary Clinton surprises; Wonkosphere.com reports that buzz share results for September indicate the possibility of a wild campaign season.

Texas representative and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul lived up to his Internet fame in September. Wonkosphere.com has reported that Paul finished in first place amongst Republican candidates for buzz share from conservative bloggers. Buzz share measures how much the political blogosphere is talking about a particular candidate, and Paul's 16% beat out Senator Fred Thompson (13%) and Mayor Rudy Giuliani (10%). The real untold story however of Internet politics in September is bloggers' obsession with New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

In September, approximately one out of every four blog posts that talked about a presidential candidate talked about Senator Clinton. "Clinton (22%) barely beat out John Edwards (20%) for buzz share amongst liberal bloggers," said Wonkosphere's Kevin Dooley, "but she was all conservative bloggers could talk about -- she had more conservative buzz share than Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani combined."

"Senator Clinton's dominance in the political blogosphere is important for three reasons," added Wonkosphere's Steve Corman. "First, it means she is succeeding in driving the discussion, which can be powerful. Second, because the race is being defined as Clinton versus Not-Clinton, it means that anyone on either side can potentially fill the contender role; the narrative is 'Who will beat Hillary?' Third, because conservative bloggers have concentrated on Clinton, their own Republican candidates have gone largely un-vetted by the blogging community."

September Results Foretell Change
Because political bloggers tend to be thought-leaders in the political process, changes in candidate buzz share tend to be followed by changes in voter polls: the rise in Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee's poll numbers, the resurgence of John McCain and John Edwards, and Mitt Romney's recent dip all fit that pattern.

"Based on buzz share trends over the last couple of weeks, look for John Edwards to make a strong move for second place in the Democratic race, and expect Joe Biden's numbers to increase," said Dooley. "Amongst Republicans, expect Paul and Huckabee to pick up new voters and for Fred Thompson to lose some ground." Corman added, "The elephant in the room is Al Gore. The Nobel Peace Prize is announced October 12 and some bloggers are predicting that a win will coincide with him jumping into the race. Then it's really up for grabs."

Amongst conservative bloggers, Mitt Romney (9%) came in fifth place in September buzz share, behind Clinton, Paul, Thompson, and Giuliani. Romney was followed by Barack Obama (5%), Mike Huckabee (5%), John McCain (5%), and John Edwards (5%). Amongst liberal bloggers, Barack Obama (13%) finished in third place in buzz share behind Clinton and Edwards, and was followed by Giuliani (11%), Thompson (7%), Biden (7%), McCain (5%), Romney (4%), Bill Richardson (3%), Chris Dodd (3%), and Paul (2%).

Technology makes measuring buzz share easy
The buzz share results come from Wonkosphere.com, a new web site which tracks and analyzes over 1200 political blogs each day. Patented technology from Arizona State University (ASU) is used to measure each candidate's buzz share, as well as whether bloggers are ranting or raving about the candidate. Wonkosphere is operated by Crawdad Technologies, a new venture started by Corman and Dooley, who are also professors at ASU.

"We knew that the 2008 political campaign would be influenced in unpredictable ways by the Internet, "said Corman. "We created Wonkosphere.com as a way to give millions of political blog readers a way to stay on top of what was happening across the whole political blogosphere."

"Technology allows us to keep track of hundreds of times more blogs than any individual has time to read," added Dooley, "and it also allows the analysis to be completely unbiased, so that we can report what's going on in a truly non-partisan fashion."

About Wonkosphere
Wonkosphere is designed for bloggers, media, political activists, and political junkies who need to stay on top of the 2008 Presidential race but can't spend all day searching for the hottest and most relevant material. Wonkosphere has been highlighted by such outlets as USA Today, US News & World Report, Information Week, WIRED Online, MyDD, Andrew Sullivan, Lew Rockwell, Hugh Hewitt, and Reformed Chicks Blabbing. Wonkosphere provides an analysis of the political buzz that is timely and unbiased, made possible by tracking and analyzing over 1200 blogs and web sites per day with its patented text analysis technology. This technology measures each candidate's buzz share and tone, and highlights the most representative and linked posts. Wonkosphere is a wholly-owned service of Crawdad Technologies, LLC. http://www.Wonkosphere.com

About Crawdad Technologies
Crawdad Technologies, LLC is the leader in extracting insight from social media. Crawdad Listening Spheres and Posts monitor blogs, social networks, web sites, discussion boards, news media, and periodicals to tell you how brands, products, celebrities, or issues are being talked about. Crawdad uses patented natural language technology to measure content, sentiment, and focus. Listening Post customers include Cold Stone Creamery, Cercone, Brown, & Curtis PR, and the Arizona Republic. Crawdad's desktop text analysis product is used by over 100 colleges and universities. http://www.crawdadtech.com

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