Obama outpacing McCain in Web-site traffic, online 'buzz'

Obama's campaign Web site outpaced visits to Sen. John McCain's official site by a 4:1 margin.

During May, the last full month of the U.S. presidential primary season, traffic going to Sen. Barack Obama's campaign Web site outpaced visits to Sen. John McCain's official site by a 4:1 margin, according to data released Monday by market research firm Nielsen Online.

And last month, Obama (D-Ill.) generated more "buzz volume" in blogs and online forums than McCain (R-Ariz.) did, Nielsen said (download PDF).

Obama's Web site had 2.3 million unique visitors in May, compared to 563,000 for McCain, Nielsen reported. The May numbers are the latest data released by The Nielsen Co. subsidiary on traffic to the Web sites of the two presumptive presidential nominees.

Nielsen added that in June, Obama scored mentions in 0.75% of blog-based discussions among Internet users -- nearly double the 0.39% level for McCain. The margin was even wider on message boards and forums: The research firm said Obama was mentioned in 0.89% of discussions there, with McCain registering mentions in 0.34% of those discussions.

"Obama does tend to have a younger demographic that is attracted to him, so it stands to reason that that population would be more active online [than McCain's supporters are]," said Jon Gibs, vice president of media analytics at Nielsen Online. And because of Obama's Web 2.0 approach during the primary season, "this is the first campaign we have seen where the Internet has moved into the middle of the campaign itself," Gibs said.

As a result, Nielsen's usual focus on online advertising spending as the primary measurement of Web-based campaigning by candidates is being usurped by measurements tracking online interactions with potential voters -- for example, the number of people visiting or adding user-generated content to a campaign Web site, and the number linking to a campaign site from Facebook or another social network. "This is the first time where ad spending may be on the back burner," Gibs noted.

But Nielsen is still measuring ad spending by the two campaigns. According to the data released this week, Obama's campaign spent heavily on image-based ad impressions during May, when he was still battling Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton for primary votes. According to Nielsen, Obama placed more than 105 million ad impressions on Web sites that month, vs. 8.5 million for McCain, who had already clinched the Republication nomination.

On the other hand, McCain -- who himself has become more active on Web 2.0 sites -- far outpaced Obama in the use of sponsored search-link ads in May. His campaign posted 5 million of those impressions, compared to 1 million for Obama's, Nielsen said.

The research firm said it also found that 89% of active Web users above the age of 18 are registered to vote, and that they're almost evenly divided between the two main political parties.

Nielsen, which surveyed 36,000 registered voters who use the Web, said 36% reported that they're Republicans, while 35% said that they're Democrats. Another 17% said that they're registered as Independents, while the remaining respondents are either registered as members of other parties or didn't disclose their party affiliations.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Heather Havenstein

Computerworld

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?