Sunday, November 12, 2006

YouTube Wins Senate for the Democrats

With Virginia Senator George Allen Jr.'s concession last week, the Democrats regained control of the Senate for the first time in 12 years. But as much as the Dems should thank Jim Webb, Allen's opponent, the real victor in this campaign was YouTube.

Months before the election Allen was riding high in the polls and was even touted as a potential Presidential candidate for '08. Then came the notorious "Macaca" video in which Allen made fun of an Indian member of the audience, which happened to be captured on video. In elections past this video might have been shared among a few people for laughs, but 2006 marked the "YouTube-ization" of American politics.

Within days of the video being posted to YouTube, tens of thousands of people around the country had viewed it, and the buzz started to build. A week later the video was picked up by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, then by the mainstream media, and soon everyone knew of Senator Macaca.

Allen's campaign began to implode, culminating in his concession on Wednesday, handing the Senate to the Democrats. A sea change in American politics was brought about by one short video posted to one website and then broadcast to millions.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It strikes me that the Macaca incident is not what defeated George Allen. What it did was give Jim Webb the best opportunity to present his case to be the next Senator from Virginia. With George Allens screw ups he still got over 2,000,000 votes. What beat him was who Jim Webb is.

So I say thank you Macaca and thank you Jim Webb for being who you are.

Harsh said...

I agree that Webb wouldn't have won the election if he were not basically electable, but he was trailing by such a significant margin in the polls that he never would have had a chance to win (and raise significant funds from the national party) without the macacabacle. Ultimately, it was the nationwide exposure of the video and other revelations from Allen’s past that cost the soon to be former Senator credibility.

The macaca video created the window of opportunity that Webb and his team deftly crawled through.

Ali A. Akbar said...

First commenter would do well to look at the polls again.

Webb was doing horrible in the polls. No one likes Webb. The Dems are using him b/c he's a pissed off (weirdo) Conservative.

Ali A. Akbar
aliakbar.net
gopful.com
econservative.org

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