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December 31, 2007


Seth Barnes

Mr. Anderson,

Illuminating post on Ron Paul as the first long tail candidate. You've probably noticed that if you write about Ron Paul, you get a spike in traffic. His lunatic legions are also all over Digg...and I only mean to say that they vote everything and everything up the charts. As such, an interesting "counter revolution" is taking place with some satirists going against Ron Paul and getting pushed up by the very people making fun of them.

Looks like some of them think he's going to buy out the MySpace homepage on January 3rd!



Jason The Saj

Not all who want smaller less bloated & corrupt government are lunatics.

The truth of the matter is that politics is facing it's digital revolution. And the politicos are confused. Why?

Because their telephone polls and such do not reflect Ron Paul's popularity. But Ron Paul is very popular with a younger crowd. People in their 20's and 30's many of whom do not even own a landline. (I have my broadband internet via cable and my wife and I both have cell phones. No landline. Many of my friends are likewise. Why waste $40 on a landline we'll never use.)

And while the mainstream media and politicos try to give Ron Paul zero coverage (okay, so they gave him some news the day he raked in $5 million - that's about it).

But driving from PA to CT I saw one Huckabee sign. And 3-4 Ron Paul signs. Nobody else...

It's a grass roots movement unlike any other. And while Ron Paul may not win...rest assured this is the future. The politicos may not realize it yet. But the game is changing....

Benjamin Huot

Ron Paul's appeal is not just to conservatives who want to limit giving money to welfare but military spending in Iraq too. For all those Democrats saying how aweful the war is now that we are losing, sure were in favor of it when they all voted it in. I was against the war because it was Iraq was not then a terrorist nation while some of our major allies, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are. Ron Paul was asked about what he would do with the money when he pulled out of Iraq and he said he wouldn't mind spending it on healthcare and education when we save a lot of money on Iraq. Republicans and Democrats are against welfare unless it goes to bail out businesses, individual rights unless applied to corporations, and less spending when it comes to positive things like medical care for disabled veterans but are all for spending when it comes to more large weapons unnecessary for winning the war on terror like submarines. The reason why we don't see Ron Paul is because the media is controlled by large corporations which want conservatives like Republicans and Democrats to win the election. Of course the people who count the polls and the Supreme Court are bought off too. Remember last election that the people who made the voting machines in the battle ground states said they could guarantee Bush would win.


I am a 48 yr old conservative and a member of my local GOP for 30 yrs. I noticed our traditional small government republcian party had "lost its way" a while back. Now after I have switched my support to the only true constitutional republican presidential candidate Dr./Congressman Ron Paul. I am not the only one who has jumped ship from the Neocon warmongers. There is absoutely nothing conservative about these folks other than they decided to add the word "conservative" on the end of their Neoconservative "label." I would just like to add that the neocon idealogy needs to be buried in the boneyard, never to be dugg up again. Ron Paul is middle americas candidate.

Jeff Ritze


I agree with this writer, the electoral college makes the concept of a long tail impossible. They contradict each other...

"American politics faces the same basic problem. That we have just two dominant political parties has nothing to do with information costs or media attention or lack of funding--it is the physical constraints of the market. We call this Duverger's Law. The principle states that in any plurality based voting system, elections eventually funnel towards two parties. Because of the district basis of the system, it is impossible for minor candidates to collect their small stakes in many communities into a significant voting block. Candidates win based on how many individual districts they can tally together, not how much overarching support they can garner. Third Parties exist as aggregates of minor factions spread throughout multiple constituencies but the electoral system doesn't care about percentage of the whole, only percentage of the local. It is innately compartmentalized, tied to the part to the point where the whole doesn't matter. Sound familiar? This is exactly what prevents a long tail economy from thriving in Borders or at a Tower Records."




Looking at the numbers in Iowa and at the high number of first time voters, don't you think that the real (impact of) "long tail of politics" is in the electorate more than in a candidate, how people (especially young people) and new voters are engaged and how this turns into votes and shapes poltical outcomes?



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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

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