A story in the New York Times Sunday magazine declares conservative blogs continue to have more political and electoral influence than liberal blogs.

Titled “Conservative Blogs Are More Effective,” Michael Crowley’s piece in the magazine’s 5th Annual Year in Ideas cover package claims that with the 2006 elections approaching, Democrats are now “trying to use blogs more strategically,” says the trade publication Editor & Publisher.

But Crowley – citing Democrat activist Matt Stoller, who ran a blog for Sen. Jon Corzine in his recent race for New Jersey governor – believes conservative blogs will once again have the upper hand next year.

Stoller points to a recent example in New Jersey where talk radio picked up on personal charges against Corzine published by conservative blogs which caused “damage” to the campaign.

“To Stoller, it was proof of how conservatives have mastered the art of using blogs as a deadly campaign weapon,” Crowley writes, according to Editor & Publisher. “Yet Corzine won the election easily anyway.”

Some might point to Howard Dean’s massive web-driven presidential campaign and heavy traffic for liberal blogs such as DailyKos as counterarguments. But Crowley writes Democrats “say there’s a key difference between liberals and conservatives online.”

“Liberals use the Web to air ideas and vent grievances with one another, often ripping into Democratic leaders,” he says, while conservatives, “by contrast, skillfully use the Web to provide maximum benefit for their issues and candidates.”

Crowley believes, though, that what truly makes conservative blogs effective is the infrastructure provided by the Fox News Channel and radio giants such as Rush Limbaugh, all of which are quick to pass on the latest tidbit from the blogosphere.”

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