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October 23, 2007 07:18 PM UTC

Presidential Candidates and Internet Tubes

  • 4 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols


The website Politico has an interesting look at which online forms of communication work best for Presidential candidates:

To get some small read on that online activity, Compete.com, a company founded in 2000 that measures and analyzes Web traffic, studied the habits of hundreds of thousands of online political readers. The nonpartisan, for-profit company uses what’s called a “panel” of roughly 2 million Internet users who have agreed to allow their Web behavior to be tracked and analyzed for research purposes. (Other well-regarded companies that measure Web traffic also use a panel-based tracking system, including Nielsen, comScore and Hitwise.)

The study, performed for Politico, is simply a snapshot of online activity; it followed only those readers projected to have visited an official candidate website at least once in September. (See politico.com/life for more of the data.)

But the results reveal interesting online habits among the politically attuned. A significant number get their news from mainstream media versus political blogs. YouTube, meanwhile, is one of the most reliable ways for candidates to communicate directly to voters. But the candidates’ official Meetup, Facebook and MySpace pages appear less effective at that…

…The political readers captured by Compete were much more likely to get their news from a mainstream source than from political blogs. Forty-eight percent went to CNN, followed by Yahoo News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News, USA Today and, to a lesser extent, Politico. (See chart.)

Of online readers who went to Democratic websites, 19 percent visited at least one of 10 popular liberal blogs. Republican readers visited the liberal blogs at a surprisingly similar rate of 16 percent – the same number that visited 10 right-leaning blogs. Democratic readers were more likely to read a liberal blog than to visit FoxNews.com (19 percent to 16 percent).

Comments

4 thoughts on “Presidential Candidates and Internet Tubes

  1. Blogs are attractive because offer inside information and analysis.  Indeed, Daily Kos, the leader of the national liberal blogs, rose to prominence largely on the strength of offering insider information on polling data before it was available elsewhere, often from subscription only sources.

    This is a far more important thing to have in state and local races, and in industry specific areas (and insider information from the federal bureacracy) than it is in Presidential races. 

    Why?  Because the Presidential race is saturated with national media pros who quickly prevent any interesting inside information from accumulating.  Also, the pressure from the big blogs has discouraged the national media from holding anything back.

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