The more I have thought about this I think it's a null issue (excuse the pun).
I must have been hypmotized there for a moment. The new browser will only open with an onClick or onMouseDown response. So, I guess (and again I am just guessing) that it makes no difference to the spider at all.
hee hee... but at least I'm thinkin' about this stuff.
OK, dumb question to double-check. Using target=_blank will cause a new window to open when a person with a browser clicks on the link, and is spider-safe and not spam.
However, if the links are on a "links page" using target=_blank to keep visitors from leaving the site permanently, yet this page is being submitted to search engines to enhance link popularity (or merely to get the linked-to sites found through crawling without submssing them)- if the target argument is used, will or will not the spiders follow the link? In other words, will spiders ignore the target argument and follow the link, or ignore the links altogether, defeating the purpose of the link page?