Blogger Simon Owens is tracking the traffic of the 20 largest liberal and conservative blogs to see how they've fared since the election. The blogs have collectively dropped 109 million unique visitors from October 2008 to May 2009:
Right of center blogs weathered the post-election season a little better, falling only 37%, while blogs that were left-of-center fell by 64%.
Some blogs did better than others. Instapundit, for instance, was the only blog to show a slight increase in page views between the two months. Hot Air and Ann Althouse also saw a much less significant drop compared to all other blogs. Out of all the blogs surveyed, MyDD saw the most significant drop, with a decrease of 80% in pageviews.
There's always a slump after a presidential election as people who have been consumed with politics rediscover the rest of their lives, but Owens has found a dramatic difference in how liberal and conservative blogs have fared since the election. Partisan media tends to do better when its side is out of power, because that fuels more activism and passion than being in charge. Readership of The Nation doubled after the election of President Bush in 2000.
The Drudge Retort has dropped from 2.8 million unique visitors last October to 1.8 million last month. I was surprised to learn that the Retort has lost less of its audience than any other liberal blog tracked by Owens. The Retort's 36% drop is close to the average drop of conservative blogs.
I'm not sure why the Retort has suffered less of a post-election slump than Daily Kos, Washington Monthly and other liberal-leaning sites. One possible reason is that the Retort actively encourages conservatives and libertarians to contribute dissenting views, so some of those folks have stuck around to express opposition to President Obama and the Democratic-led Congress. I get bored with echo chambers, so I've tried to cultivate a more ideologically diverse audience than most political blogs.