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Will Internet Politicking Pay Off?

  • Posted: Monday, July 14, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

How much does candidate site traffic matter?

If the US presidential election were based on Web site traffic, Sen. Barack Obama would be far ahead of Sen. John McCain.

Mr. Obama drew nearly 80% of all traffic to the two presumptive nominees' sites in June 2008, according to Hitwise. That was actually a drop from April and May, when he drew about 85% of nominee site traffic to Mr. McCain's 15%.

Mr. McCain's site is drawing plenty of new attention, however, with 79% of its June 2008 traffic coming from new visitors. Fewer than one-half of June visitors to the Obama site were new.

"Barack Obama got a head start during primary season in using the Web effectively to garner support, both in terms of votes and donations," said Jon Gibs, vice president at Nielsen Online, in a statement. "McCain's Web site includes both video and social networking capabilities, which have proven successful for his Democratic rival. It remains to be seen if his core demographic will embrace the medium the way Obama's has."

Nielsen also said Mr. Obama led Mr. McCain in May 2008 site traffic. The research company found that BarackObama.com drew 2.3 million unique visitors that month to Sen. McCain's 563,000.

Nielsen said that the Obama campaign had placed considerably more image-based online ads in May, while the McCain campaign led in paid search links.

Read more - eMarketer

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