Obama Dominates McCain in 2008 Cyber-Campaigning; Site, Social Networks Bring in More Traffic

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 16, 2008 | Go to article overview

Obama Dominates McCain in 2008 Cyber-Campaigning; Site, Social Networks Bring in More Traffic


Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Democrats continue to be masters of the Internet for fundraising, voter outreach and buzz in the White House race. Between the two official campaign Web sites, Sen. Barack Obama's site consistently has attracted three-fourths of the total traffic, compared with 28 percent drawn to Sen. John McCain, according to research released Monday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). Mr Obama also has five times more registered users than Mr. McCain.

The Democrat from Illinois simply is more effective online; his site strategically showcases clever links to mainstream news, a bank of speeches and talking points, downloadable campaign posters and other user-friendly devices and spiffy tools, the study found.

Mr. Obama is the darling of social networking as well. He has six times as many MySpace friends as Mr. McCain, five times as many Facebook friends, twice as many videos posted to YouTube and 11 times as many YouTube channel subscribers.

Some small irony is at work. Though Democrats typically have dominated the Internet since Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign proved the value of Internet fundraising and grass-roots outreach, it was Mr. McCain who staged some real pioneering online when he ran for the White House in 2000.

Billed as the insurgent candidate eight years ago, Mr. McCain staged the first cyber-fundraiser and a primitive Web chat at a campaign stop in South Carolina with a laptop using a 56K modem. …

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