Why Democrats Rule the Web

In this campaign, grass-roots organizing has moved online. How the Democrats got the jump on the GOP

Jon Lowenstein for TIME

Obama's new media boss, Joe Rospars, left, huddles with ombudsman Gray Brooks at campaign headquarters in Chicago.

You know the drill. As election day approaches, glossy pamphlets clog your mailbox. Annoying prerecorded calls jam your answering machine. Nasty attack ads disturb your prime-time TV viewing. You are bombarded at every turn, and you take it all in, with only one responsibility in mind: remember to vote.

That's the way it used to be for Tom and Mary Bashore, a retired printer and an accounting assistant from Ephrata, Pa. But at some point in January, they stopped watching and started participating. Mary went on their home computer and found Barack Obama's website, where the couple created a...

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