In the last few days leading up to the Michigan primary yesterday, the liberal and once popular website Daily Kos started to encourage its readers to get involved in the open Michigan primary by doing something they wouldn’t normally think of doing. The Daily Kos told its all-liberal readers to pick up a Republican ballot and vote for Rick Santorum. The Daily Kos’ idea was to give Rick Santorum a primary victory in Michigan, deny Mitt Romney a win, and cause chaos in the Republican primary. Readers responded with enthusiasm at the thought of helping Rick Santorum win the Republican nomination because they believed he was the weakest candidate to take on President Obama.
The Daily Kos went into a full out campaign – even sending out an email blast to its Michigan readers. The day before the Michigan primary, Jonathan Martin of Politico tweeted: @jmartpolitico: The 8500 MI’anders on Daily Kos email list got note today: “Please vote for Rick Santorum…”
While most all of the mainstream media journalists ignored the Daily Kos’ campaign, some on Twitter questioned just how effective the Daily Kos could be. After all, as Martin pointed out, they only had 8,500 supporters in Michigan.
Immediately, the power of the Daily Kos and its uber liberal founder Markos Moulitsas was on display. Political strategists were wondering if the Daily Kos still had any power or if the liberal class has moved on to David Brock’s Media Matters for America.
Markos’ campaign for Santorum went into over-drive. He tweeted and re-tweeted messages all day Monday encouraging and celebrating his supporters’ missives about supporting Santorum.
But the media’s prediction that Santorum would make Michigan a race or possibly even win it turned out to be spin. Romney easily won the state despite Markos’ campaign. And we learned that the Daily Kos’ power isn’t what it used to be.
Richard A. Grenell has nearly two decades of experience in all aspects of communications and public affairs. Grenell has served as the primary communications advisor for public officials at the local, state, federal and international levels, as well as for publicly traded Fortune 500 ranked companies. Follow Richard on Twitter.