Home  › Stats › Audience/Traffic

Politics Pulls Users Online

  |  August 10, 2004   |  Comments

Candidate Web sites are experiencing big traffic gains, as Americans turn to the Internet for political news, information and donation methods.

The traffic spikes to candidate sites are to be expected during the presidential election season, but Internet users are also relying on the medium as a political news and information source.

While an estimated 24.4 million viewers watched U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, the nominee's Web site was undergoing exorbitant traffic growth.

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, traffic to the John Kerry for President Web site grew 191 percent between July 25, 2004 and Aug.1, earning the distinction of being the fastest growing site for the week.

Comparatively, the Web site for the Republican National Committee experienced a 32 percent traffic swell, as American voters searched for information on the two major candidates.

Traffic to JohnKerry.com and RNC.org (U.S., Home)
Site Unique Audience
Week ending 7/25/04
Unique Audience
Week ending 8/1/04
JohnKerry.com 265,000 771,000
RNC.org 209,000 275,000
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

Prior to the Convention, John Kerry's Web site was already gaining traffic momentum. Kerry's announcement of John Edwards as his running mate on July 6 sent his site from fifth place in the Hitwise politics category to the first place position. The 231 percent spike in traffic led the site to capture 10.44 percent of visits in Hitwise's politics category.

JohnEdwards2004.com also experienced a traffic surge, rising from number 226 in the rankings on July 5 to seventh place on July 6.

Sites that aren't directly related to the parties or the candidates are undergoing explosive growth as well. Measurements from Hitwise revealed that visits to political humor site Jibjab.com outpaced the Bush and Kerry Web sites combined, attracting more than 10 times the total number of visitors.

Jibjab.com was catapulted from relative obscurity to an enormous traffic explosion between July 3 and July 23, increasing traffic 204,520 percent and capturing more than half of all visitors to the Hitwise politics category. The site also became the 41st most popular Web site among U.S. Internet users on July 23.

Voters are increasingly turning to the Internet as a source of information about the 2004 Presidential Election. A late 2003/early 2004 joint report from Pew Research Center for The People & The Press and Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 13 percent of the surveyed Americans regularly learned about the candidates and the campaign from the Internet – up from 9 percent in 2000.

More recently, a July 2004 Pace Poll, conducted by Pace University, of 622 new registered voters revealed that 44 percent rely on the Internet as a major source of campaign information.

Newly Registered Voters Getting
"Most" or "A Lot" of Their Political
Information from These Sources
Television network news 53%
Newspapers 46%
Internet 44%
Cable news programs 41%
Television ads 29%
Late night talk shows 10%
Source:Pace Poll

In addition to accessing political news and information, Internet users are going online to make their contributions to candidates too. Of the 1,751 U.S. consumers surveyed online for The Kintera/Luth Nonprofit Trend Report, 18 percent were planning to make a political contribution in 2004, with nearly half using online methods.

The report also revealed that respondents more likely to donate to a political party or candidate in 2004 are also active in online and offline philanthropy activities.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Stats delivers stats headlines to your inbox twice a week. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Resources

Jobs

    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...
    • Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager
      Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager (Smarty Had A Party) - St. LouisCompany Description: A warm, loving, [slightly wacky] startup, we view...