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Week of 9.15.06

Blog The Vote

Left-leaning political bloggers - people who share their opinions through online journals - are determined to demonstrate their real world influence in the upcoming mid-term elections. But will they finally make political headway, or just more hype?

NOW visited one of the blogosphere's biggest events, the YearlyKos convention in Las Vegas, to see if the bloggers can turn their online advocacy into on-the-ground results. One of the bloggers' favorite national candidates is Montana Democrat Jon Tester, who's now locked in a close race for the US Senate seat held by Republican Conrad Burns. But how much of a role did bloggers play in Tester's initial success? Will they be able to push him on to victory in November?

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Now also visited with Montana blogger Jay Stevens, who's doing his best locally to help Tester. "I'm a middle-aged guy with two kids, a mortgage, and a car. I think that's what most bloggers are like," says Stevens. He rejects the stereotype that bloggers are a bunch of radical, left-wing crazies. "The question shouldn't be, 'Why are there so many radical bloggers?' The question really should be 'Why are there so many angry people blogging?'"

NOW also talks to Markos Moulitsas, founder of DailyKos, one of the Internet's biggest and most influential political blog sites. "You have a couple million people reading liberal blogs...and they're looking for ways to get involved. And they're looking for ways to participate and take hold of their own democracy. And that is powerful," says Moulitsas.

"What's important, if this movement is to succeed, is for the people who are reading DailyKos and other blogs to then turn off their computers and go talk to people off-line. And that's where the 'preach to the choir' part ends."

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