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What Clicks With Voters Online

On campaign sites, the Democrats (collectively) rule.

In this week's installment of the presidential online popularity contest, we take a look at the candidate Web sites. Nielsen//Net Ratings, the Internet research firm, has been tracking the number of unique visitors to all of the sites, and the results show a sharp difference by party. By far, the Democratic sites are attracting more unique visitors than their Republican counterparts. The difference is so stark, it's almost 2-1. In July, the latest figures available, the sites of the three Democratic front-runners (Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton and former senator John Edwards) drew a total of 1.5 million unique visitors. In contrast, the three leading GOP contenders (former senator Fred Thompson, former mayor Rudy Giuliani and former govennor Mitt Romney) drew a total of 629,000.

And judging by the Nielsen figures, Obama and Clinton -- who are both drawing Hollywood-like coverage offline, with Clinton sitting down with Ellen DeGeneres and Obama attending an Oprah Winfrey-sponsored fundraiser this weekend -- are duking it out online. In April, Obama's site attracted the most number of unique visitors. In May and June, Clinton's did. Though Obama took July, Clinton's site proved to be "the stickiest" -- which is onlinespeak for the time a unique visitor spends on a Web site. On BarackObama.com, the time per visitor was 7 minutes and 53 seconds. On HillaryClinton.com, it was 8 minutes and 17 seconds.

The Internet is a "pull" medium. Build a site, and people come. Because of the improved technology, and the advent of social networking sites such as YouTube, MySpace, Eons, etc. the candidate sites have turned into true online headquarters for the campaigns. You can contribute, get the latest buzz on your candidate and, most importantly, connect with other supporters. After sitting down with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" and declaring "I'm running for president of the United States," Fred Thompson posted a 15-minute video announcemnt on Fred08.com
.
Thompson's site, which has steadily made improvements in recent weeks, could even break Obama and Clinton's winning streak.

In July, when he was still "testing the waters," Thompson's site drew the third highest number of unique visitors -- 381,000. That's behind Obama and Clinton and ahead of Edwards, Giuliani and Romney.

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

By Washington Post editors  |  September 7, 2007; 3:13 PM ET
 
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Comments

Yeah, Ron Paul surely beats everyone in online presence.

This illustrates how the managed media will not post real news or facts.

Ron Paul has won every online poll, including 2 Fox News text-in polls, the MSNBC poll (which Fox News lied about on-air), CNN's poll, vote.com... etc.

Ron Paul has more myspace friends than any other, over 40,000 meetup members, and gets more web hits than anyone else, by far!

TO WASHINGTON POST: You want me to challenge your articles, like it says above? Here's a challenge...
Tell the entire truth.

Posted by: benf101 | September 10, 2007 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Who do you think won the Univision Democratic Debate In Miami ------> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=458

Posted by: PollM | September 9, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

It is shameful the lengths that the mainstream media go to to ignore the likes of Dr Ron Paul. His online presence at the very least should be mentioned in a blog titled as such...

The masses are not as brainwashed and gullible as you hoping. Your first response would be that Dr. Paul is not a "frontrunner". Well, I say that is another lie. Just look at the straw poll results. I beleive they tell a different story...

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/straw-poll-results/

Take a look for yourself. Don't trust the slant--look into it for yourself and be sure to make an educated decision when it comes to our leaders. Otherwise, I fear we are in for more of the same.

Posted by: wolffie3480 | September 9, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Gee, how could you forget about Ron Paul??? It's amazing how you could overlook Mr. Internet. That wouldn't be because all of you bought & paid for mainstream newspapers are afraid of the truth that Dr. Paul is spreading, could it???

I can see why all the mainstream newspapers are losing millions of readers to the alternative newspapers. You have become so biased and outright deceitful that it is pathetic that you call yourselves fair.

You censor everything about Ron Paul. Why don't you tell the truth about who is winning all the debates, polls, and people hearts!?! You should be ashamed of yourselves for the depths of depravity you have sunken to. We, the People choose who we want to run this country so stop trying to sway people to your choice with all your lies and deceit.

Ron Paul is the "ONLY' choice for president if you are truly a Patriotic American!!!!

Posted by: roadhawg88 | September 9, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

They could all use some sensitivity training because things have a heavy potential to get ugly in any election. Touchy-touchy ain't gonna cut it this time around.

Posted by: BeckyVII | September 9, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't there a mention of Ron Paul in this article? Isn't he actually the Republican with the biggest web presence, and presumably the most visitors to his Web site? Paul's extraordinary on-line support ought to be relevant to an article entitled "What Clicks With Voters Online."

Posted by: dpmccart | September 9, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Clinton's website is clean and sophiticated....Edwards' and Obama's drive me crazy. They have so much junk poping up in your face it's overwhelming. Too cluttered. I prefer clean set up like Hillary's.

Posted by: mcsizzlesizzle | September 8, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Looking at visitors to the site is only part of the picture. Social networking sites and things like YouTube are just as important. The Spartan Internet Political Performance Weekly Index looks at the Internet wide performance of the candidates using over 650 factors. http://www.spartaninternet.com/2008/

This shows Obama leading by a wide margin.

Posted by: michman42000 | September 8, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

So where's the coverage about Edwards speech that the WaPo announced he was giving on Friday?

You want to know what online viewers want? We want to see coverage of ALL of the candidates, not just the ones the media decides are worthy of coverage.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | September 8, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

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