Some Republicans might question the continued relevance of the conservative Drudge Report in the era of Twitter and a crowded blogosphere—but the site is likely to play a major role in the 2016 election, writes Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post. Not only does Matt Drudge score some "three-quarters of a billion page views" each month, as the Daily Beast notes; he's also a key driver of the political conversation. For one thing, politicians can head to the Drudge Report to find out what their opponents are digging up on them: Drudge is "more likely to simply take (material) and post it rather than looking for where the holes are—as a more mainstream site would do," Cillizza notes.
Those reading the site include political power players: "reporters, cable TV bookers, and other campaigns." And Drudge sticks to one or two storylines for "weeks or months." Right now, he's into Scott Walker, and if that continues, it will boost Walker's national profile among party leaders. When it comes to the Democrats, Drudge has long had a fascination with the Clintons, publishing key stories on Bill's affair in the 1990s and running somewhat positive articles about Hillary around the end of the last decade. But recently, he's gone negative, and he could put the national spotlight on stories that don't look good for her. "All of the Republican campaigns (and maybe even the Clinton campaign) will fear him—and have a strategy on how to deal with him. That, in my book, is real influence," Cillizza notes. Click for the full piece.