I have some exciting news about the future of the Swing State Project that I’m very pleased to share with our community here. As many of you know, I got my start blogging at Daily Kos, and I still serve as a front-page contributing editor there. SSP has always had a close relationship with “the mothership,” with a lot of cross-pollination of users and content. So I’m thrilled to announce that SSP will soon get “beamed up” to DK – that is to say, the entire site will soon have a new home at Daily Kos, likely to be named “Daily Kos Elections,” with a new URL as well. (The old address will re-direct there.)
In practical, day-to-day terms, I can assure you that not much will change. It will still be the same great community – and you’ll still be seeing the same great content – that you’ve grown accustomed to. Our hallmark qualities will remain exactly the same: We will stay laser-focused on the electoral horserace, and we’ll steer clear of policy debates, just as ever before. I recognize that the communities at DK and SSP operate differently, but DK Elections will be its own sub-site, and we’ll retain our distinctive flavor. The comment boards will be friendly, on-topic, and free of personal attacks, just as they are now.
For the moment, we’re staying put. In a week, Daily Kos will undertake a major transition to a new software platform (which you can play with here). As you might imagine, the DK tech team has their hands full, so we won’t get ported over for a little while after that. (We’ll make sure our archives make the jump, too.) In the meantime, if you don’t have one already, I encourage you to create an account at the actual Daily Kos site (not the beta site linked to just above) so that you can hit the ground running when SSP makes its move.
One thing that will change is that I will be working for Daily Kos full-time, which will allow us to amp up our coverage. The rest of the crew will be staying on board – James, Crisitunity, and Jeff – and will continue to contribute as well. DK’s current horserace specialists, Arjun Jaikumar and Steve Singiser, will also join the squad. We’ll expand out our coverage a bit to include presidential primary polls – I think the GOP primary is just too fun not to cover. And when the time is right, we’ll also start looking at presidential polling – but, again, we’re going to stay an issue-free zone.
My official title at DK will be “Political Director,” and in addition to running DK Elections, my responsibilities will include, among other things, managing our polling operations and our Orange to Blue fundraising list on ActBlue. I look forward to getting your input in both areas – for instance, I definitely plan to do some “Where should we poll?” site polls, just like Tom Jensen does now over at PPP. (As you may know, Public Policy Polling is DK’s pollster, and we’ll continue to work with them.)
I do have one request to make of the community: Stick with us. Give it a shot – there will be some changes, but nothing too dramatic. And help us out. We’ll need you over at the new site. While, as I said, we’ll have our own sub-site, it’ll be fairly easy for other Daily Kos users who aren’t familiar with the SSP ethos to migrate over to DK Elections – and we’ll need you, all the longtime, experienced, and chill SSP users, to take newcomers by the hand and explain how things work. The mods will still be there in comments to regulate as needed, but it’s a big world out there, I will be grateful beyond words for your patience and assistance in helping new people adjust. As I’ve said many a time, this community is what makes me keep coming back every day, and regardless of what our web address is, or whether our color scheme is puke green or in-your-face orange, I really hope we can all stay together.
And not like I really need to say this, but if you have any questions, please fire away in comments!
UPDATE: Thank you for all the support in the comments. I also understand the reservations that have been expressed by many of you. I share some of those concerns myself, but I want to re-iterate: We’re going to do everything we can to preserve the SSP community, rules, ethos, and comment moderation policy. And we aren’t going to be swallowed up by Daily Kos – we’ll be our own sub-site, which you’ll probably access by going to http://elections.dailykos.com. That address will feature only horserace content posted by the SSP writers (plus Arjun and Steve) – in other words, it’ll look almost exactly like what the site looks like right now. So I really urge you to give us a shot.
UPDATE 2: I’d like to encourage everyone to read this comment from Susan Gardner, the executive editor at Daily Kos, about what we can expect as we make the transition.