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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Political Left Is Losing Web Influence

By Susan Duclos

"Don't believe the netroots hype -- when liberals are in power, conservatives will once again thrive online" ----- Jonah Goldberg, LA Times, 2007

The Daily Caller and The Politico news' sites seem to have a little back and forth going on with The Politico reporting on The Daily Caller's "growing pains" and The Daily Caller reporting on The Politicos "nose dive" in traffic over the last couple of years as they have started leaning further to the left of the political spectrum in their reporting.

Interestingly, today's DC piece, doesn't just show a 31 percent decline in web traffic for The Politico since November 2010 but a major decline in web traffic for the political left, while much of the political right saw an increase in traffic.

Political websites gain and lose readers throughout election cycles, with presidential election years trending higher in unique Web traffic when compared to off-years and midterm elections. Web traffic analysts told The Daily Caller that’s traffic patterns should be expected to fit that mold: With the Iowa caucuses fast approaching, unique traffic should increase.

But Politico’s traffic losses appear to be part of a year-long trend on the political left. Media Matters For America’s website, for instance, lost 56.83 percent of its unique visitors between November 2010 and November 2011. In the same 12-month period, Talking Points Memo lost 41 percent, Wonkette was down by 32 percent, Gawker declined by 31 percent, Salon decreased by 22 percent and progressive blog Daily Kos shed 18 percent of its unique visitors.

Other political news sites, including some decidedly not left-leaning, have seen dramatic increases in unique visitors in the year-long period ending Nov. 30.’s numbers increased by 247 percent, The Daily Caller’s by 124 percent, and The Huffington Post’s by 113 percent. More modest performers during those same 12 months included The Blaze (up 57 percent), The Washington Times (up 47 percent), Slate (up 40 percent), the Washington Post (up by 38 percent) and the Christian Science Monitor (up 33 percent).

Personally I see Huffington Post as a liberal leaning website, so in my opinion, that is the exception, but those other numbers are damaging to the political left and their web influence.