In the war of partisan trash talk that frequently consumes online political media, one truth has emerged from this year’s election coverage that transcends ideology: No one wants to read about Mitt Romney.
The well-starched Republican’s traffic poison has been felt this year at websites across the political spectrum — including at BuzzFeed — and it’s left many editors, publishers, and bloggers yearning for the days of the unpredictable Sarah Palin, the maverick John McCain, and the Obama-Clinton blood feud. Bloggers and editors are left to decipher its causes — is it Romney’s discipline, his blameless personal life, or the simple fact that his supporters are less likely to be trolling the web?
“Some of this is probably because Romney is old news; in a sense he’s been running for president for five years,” said Matt Lewis, a blogger at conservative news site The Daily Caller. Lewis, like other journalists interviewed, declined to share specific metrics. But he said he sees a noticeable drop-off in online engagement when he writes a post about Romney.
“He’s also a middle-aged white guy, which is boring because it is so common in our history,” he said.