There’s an interesting post over at Soapblox Colorado, one of the better liberal blogs focusing on our state, that brings up a curious point in a roundabout way. The post is called “Wild Tour of Colorado Right-Wing Blogs,” and the purpose is to provide a snapshot of the conservative blogs around Colorado. When you read through the updates of each blog, what you start to notice is how little these conservative blogs actually talk about local politics, or if they do, how infrequently they are updated.
This is something I’ve noticed before, and I’ve always found it curious that local political discussion in the form of independent blogs seems to be dominated by liberals. I don’t know why that is, or what it means, but it is undeniably apparent if you are looking for that sort of thing.
I want to make clear that declining to focus on politics isn’t a criticism. There is certainly no rule that says you should spend most of your time talking politics if you have a blog. But if local politics is your interest as a reader, there’s a lot less out there for you if you are a conservative than if you are a liberal (disclosure: I also contribute to Colorado Pols, which does not claim a political affiliation).
Of all of the conservative, politically-active blogs out there in Colorado, Blog It Right and Mt. Virtus spend the most time talking politics on a local level. Mt. Virtus, run by a guy who works at the conservative Independence Institute, probably does the best job of keeping focused on local politics, but he sometimes goes weeks without posting something new.
Most of the other blogs out there that declare themselves to be actively conservative and politically-involved only occasionally dip into the subject of local politics. You’ll frequently find discussions of religion, as well as diatribes on national political issues, but very rarely do you get much that is focused on local politics.
On the liberal side — in addition to Soapblox — Colorado Lib focuses primarily on local politics and is usually updated daily. Colorado Luis used to spend most of its time on local politics before folding up shop a month ago.
It’s also interesting to compare the traffic to some of these blogs. On the conservative side, Blog it Right only averages about 28 visitors a day, while Mt. Virtus gets about 42 visitors a day (the statistics are publicly available on their Web sites). SoapBlox Colorado, meanwhile, averages around 450 visitors a day.
Where party-powered are concerned, Dem Notes (run by Dan Slater, the First Vice-Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party) is heavy on the real insider stuff (like local Democratic Party meetings) and updates his site frequently. The Democratic House Majority Project also has a new blog that is frequently updated, and I haven’t mentioned the huge Progress Now blog. There is no real Republican counterpart to either of these sites (not that I know of), and the Colorado Republican Party blog has said “coming soon” for months now.
In other words, while there are an equal number of blogs representing both conservative and liberal viewpoints, if you are interested in local politics, you are far more likely to find an active liberal blog than a conservative one. For whatever reason, liberal-minded people seem to be more engaged in local politics in the blog world than Republicans.
But why? Frankly, I don’t really even have a theory, because it doesn’t make logical sense. Colorado has more registered Republicans than registered Democrats, so there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be more Republicans focusing on local politics with their blogs than Democrats. It may be that because the most popular national political blog, DailyKos, has been run by liberals, it has motivated more like-minded people to do the same thing on a smaller level. That’s a stretch as a reason, but I can’t think of a good answer as to why there aren’t more active conservative political blogs in Colorado. What’s your opinion?