Third Party & Independents Archives

The Future of The Netroots Movement

Credited with the defeat of Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut primary, the Netroots movement faces its biggest challenge: the election of Ned Lamont in the general election this November. If they fail, it relegates them to a small, vocal force in the Democratic Party. If Lamont wins, they have clout; they will be a force to be reckoned with in the selection of the next presidential candidate.

A small cohesive group in a primary can produce unexpected results. The Democratic primary in Connecticut is a prime example. In a state dominated by Independents, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party propelled their candidate to the general election. The Netroots movement credited itself in playing a major role in the victory. Had Lieberman not decided to run as an independent, it is likely that they would have leveraged their candidate to the Senate. But, the story didn't end there. It won't end until the General election . For the Netroots movement, a victory in the general election, at the statewide level, will be necessary for them to be taken seriously as a major force in the party.

Should Ned Lamont win, the Netroots movement will have achieved clout. They will have proved they can elect a candidate to a major office. This will have far reaching effects in the Presidential election in 2008. They will become a pivotal force within the Democratic Party in choosing the next presidential candidate. Should Lamont lose, it will be a severe blow to the movement. They will have demonstrated ther inability to impact a wider audience than its members.

But, the Internet as an integral component of the election process will have been established. The Netroots movement has demonstrated that no election is local. Individuals outside the area where the election occurs can become involved through contributions and direct support. As the Internet continues to mature, expect it to play an even greater role. By the time the 2012 presidential campaign occurs over a third of the activity will make use of this medium.

As a political force, the decentralized nature of the Netroots movement may prove itself ineffectual. It may have overextended itself this year. They will need to reestablish themselves as a decisive political force.

Posted by M.L. Schneider at October 29, 2006 1:55 AM
Comments
Comment #191299

I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Lamont is just one party of this. If you want to see what the netroots really have done, look at the broader picture.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 29, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #191336

Lamont is a Democrat chosen by Democrats to run on their ticket. There’s nothing netroots about it. By the same token Lieberman is an incumbent Democrat that’s been rejected by the Democrats in his state. His campaign has nothing to do with netroots either. It’s just arrogance and denial.
A netroots campaign is one where an Independent candidate is running without party affiliation or support.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 29, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #191624

M.L., I think your projection of a wide reach in the Democratic Party by the Netroots Progressive movement in Connecticut, defies the wisdom that all politics are local. They may have a voice in the nomination process in 2008, but, I don’t see their voice being megaphoned above the din of 49 other state delegations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 30, 2006 8:20 PM
Comment #191628

David, the internet has changed that. While the issues are local, support and fund raising are not. We need only look at the special elections and the 2004 election to see the effect of the net.

Posted by: M.L. Schneider at October 30, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #191719

But Lamont’s net efforts were local, NOT national.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 31, 2006 1:30 AM
Comment #192666

Yes, they were. However you are confusing issues with support. Elections are won, to some extent on local issues when the national ones are of less importance. However, support need not be local. In Lamont’s campaign we have seen national organizations such as Move On and DFA becoming involved in fund raising and in the election process by placing feet on the ground. Un 2004 we saw phone banks established in sataes distant from the sates to which they called. This is just an extension of the use of external people going to an area where an election is held.


Posted by: M.L. Schneider at November 2, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #192668

Yes, they were. However you are confusing issues with support. Elections are won, to some extent on local issues when the national ones are of less importance. However, support need not be local. In Lamont’s campaign we have seen national organizations such as Move On and DFA becoming involved in fund raising and in the election process by placing feet on the ground. In 2004 we saw phone banks established in states distant from the states to which they called. This is just an extension of the use of external people going to an area where an election is held.


Posted by: M.L. Schneider at November 2, 2006 11:19 AM
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