For years, supporters of Internet regulation have argued that it is a political winner—that voters would flock to candidates who promised to impose so-called neutrality rules on the Web.
Last week, that proposition was put to the test, as a group called the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) released a statement signed by 95 candidates for Congress pledging to support net neutrality regulation if elected. At the time, a spokesman for the PCCC predicted that “the announcement would help generate enthusiasm for net-neutrality legislation in the next Congress.”
The test did not go well. As Scott Cleland of the Precursor Group reported, of the 95 candidates, exactly zero won. None. Nada. Nichts. That’s a record that would be hard to duplicate if they had picked 95 names from a hat. Rather than lead to political enthusiasm, the pledge led to political euthanasia.
Of course, it’s hard to say that the candidates lost because of the pledge. But it sure doesn’t look like it helped anyone. Net neutrality, it seems, makes no more political sense than it does economic sense.