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Survey: How Web Sparked Obama Win

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"It has rewritten the rules on how to reach voters, raise money, organize supporters, manage the news media, track and mold public opinion, and wage -- and withstand -- political attacks, including many carried by blogs that did not exist four years ago."

So blogs, which rarely drew wide notice in 2004 and were derided by some as a silly, passing fancy, now earned a place in the second paragraph of the top Times story on Election Day 2008. "I think we'll be analyzing this election for years as a seminal, transformative race," said Mark McKinnon, a senior adviser to President Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004, in that Times article. "The year campaigns leveraged the Internet in ways never imagined. The year we went to warp speed. The year the paradigm got turned upside down and truly became bottom up instead of top down."

Terry Nelson, who was the political director of the Bush campaign in 2004, said that the evolution would continue in 2012 and beyond. "We are in the midst of a fundamental transformation of how campaigns are run," Nelson said. "And it's not over yet." As Sarah Palin might say: You betcha.

Much of the above is excerpted from Greg Mitchell's latest book, Why Obama Won, his ninth book. Mitchell (gmitchell@editorandpublisher.com) is editor of Editor & Publisher.