The web is changing the way we run political campaigns, and, at least here in Mississippi, blogs are becoming the major vehicle for that change. We have two sites that capture almost all the major headlines and opinion pieces on a daily basis, both with a conservative flavor — www.magnoliareport.com and www.yallpolitics.com. We’ve got the Republicans represented at www.rightofmississippi.wordpress.com and the Democrats represented at www.cottonmouthblog.blogspot.com. you’ve got something in between at www.lotus.us. And for this election cycle, we’ve even got blogs devoted to the First and Third Congressional District races. All kinds of news, legal briefs, court rulings, emails, reports, and video and audio clips end up finding their way to one or more of these sites, providing information to the voter in a way that has been heretofore impossible. More important, at least from the viewpoint of a campaign consultant, is that at Y’all Politics and Lotus particularly, online communities have been created where comment threads are developed for each of the major entries. As a result, these comment threads serve as online focus groups. In the old days, we’d pay a firm several thousand dollars to recruit a group of people to sit around a table to discuss political issues and ads. Now, all we have to do is get something posted on a blog and 40 comments later, virtually every strength and weakness of the ad or the issue position has been fully debated and vetted. All for free. Another example. In the old days, we’d have to pay someone to sit in front of the radio and television, with recording devices on both, listening and watching for ads from the opposing candidates. Now, just go to the blog of your choice and the odds are that you will find the ad you are looking for within 24 hours of its arrival at the station. It’s all pretty amazing for a guy who remembers campaigns without computers, fax machines, cell phones, and FED EX.