Hell of a political year so far, eh? The Tea Party Express just ran over its second establishment Republican in the past few weeks, and since Delaware’s victorious Christine O’Donnell doesn’t seem to stand much of a chance in the fall, this time the Democrats are likely to be the real beneficiaries. Meanwhile, former congressmember AND former governor Mike Castle gets to spend the rest of the election season kicking back with Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and trying to figure out what went wrong.
Here’s one clue, buried in Justin Elliott’s article on the Tea Party Express in today’s War Room. It turns out that the organization is sitting on a big, fat email list of 400,000 Tea Party enthusiasts willing to cough up enough individual donations for the group to bankroll advertising for Joe Miller in Alaska and O’Donnell in Delaware to the tune of close to a million dollars. Sound familiar? A big email list of small donors was key to Obama’s victory in 2008, and here again we see a tool often ignored in favor of flashy social media actually proving to be decisive. Email + a website that takes credit cards = still the most important technology in online politics.