Brad DeLong has found an encouraging analysis at The Decembrist: “I think we’re heading into a period where it will become apparent that there are a number of strong and appealing Democratic candidates in the race — it’s a far stronger field than in 1988 or even 1992 — and their competition will, up to a point, be to the benefit of the eventual nominee.”
Many, many other people are doing a better job at interpreting the runes of Iowa than I, but I have been struck by a few remarks on what it mean for the future role of the Internet and elections.
Ed Cone: “Like the stock bubble, this deflation could obscure the value of the technology beneath the hype. That would be a mistake. The Internet is a critical means of communication and organization for campaigns, cheap and ubiquitous. It took Dean from zero to third place, made him a contender from nothing, and that’s incredible.”
John Robb: “The big loser last night in Iowa (at least to big media — just watch the sniping in the next couple of days) was the Internet and social technology. I think this will be due to a misread of what social tech can do and what it can’t do. It wasn’t a demonstration of the failure of social tech to create an outsider insurgency. It was a demonstration that the power of an Internet run campaign has difficulty moving beyond an insurgency to insider political power.”
And from Dave Winer, an outsider inside: “We all did some fantastic work last night. Together a picture of a diverse event shaped up on the Web, in a thoughtful and interesting way. Excellent work. And we’ll get to do it again next week. We should be able to sharpen our skills and develop some new technology in the meantime.”