Mitt Romney's website attracted the largest Hispanic audience composition of all the presidential candidate sites, including President Barack Obama's. Even Ron Paul's site drew a larger portion of Hispanics than Obama's, according to Nielsen, which measured audiences visiting the 2012 presidential campaign sites in January. The President's campaign site also attracted a much smaller portion of young voters compared to any of the GOP candidate sites.
Hispanics accounted for almost 17 percent of the visitors who went to MittRomney.com in January 2012, according to Nielsen. That is 37 percent more Hispanics than were active on the Internet (12 percent) that month, the company noted. Nielsen looked at visitors aged 2 and over to measure the Hispanic visitor proportions; for other data points the firm measured voting aged people 18 and over.
In terms of site audience composition, Romney's site had almost twice the percentage of Hispanics visiting his campaign site as did BarackObama.com. Romney's site visitors were 16.8 percent Hispanic compared to Obama's 8.9 percent.
Like Hispanics, female voters are another important group candidates on both sides need to attract. Around 60 percent of voting age visitors to the Obama and Rick Santorum sites were female, according to Nielsen. Both Romney's and Newt Gingrich's sites hovered around 50 percent female, while Paul attracted the smallest percentage of women at 44.5 percent.
The President's site attracted over 1 million more visitors age 18 and over than his Republican opposition, combined. The four GOP candidate sites attracted a total of 2.9 million uniques compared to Obama's 4.2 million in January.
One thing that is driving the President's reelection site visitation is his campaign's online advertising. The campaign spent over $8 million on online advertising by the end of January, while the GOP presidential hopefuls and the Republican National Committee spent around $5 million on online ads in the same time, according to ClickZ Politics analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.
The Obama ads led supporters to the Obama for America site to join the campaign by signing up with their email addresses, and in some cases to learn more about job growth under the Obama administration, or even to join subsets of supporters like Pet Lovers for Obama.
But, when looking at unique visitors to the Republican campaign sites, that logic doesn't necessarily apply. Among the four GOP hopefuls, Paul's official site drew the most uniques - 830,000 in January. Romney's site came next with 773,000, Santorum's site attracted 696,000, and Gingrich's site saw 609,000 unique voting age visitors.
However, Paul's camp spent very little on online advertising by January to drive people to his site, compared to his Republican opponents. The Paul camp spent just $3,260 on web advertising compared to Romney's $3.46 million in 2011 through January 2012, according to ClickZ Politics analysis.
Paul's site also brought in the most young voting age visitors proportionately. Nearly 37 percent of RonPaul2012.com unique visitors were age 18-34, and Romney's site also drew more than 30 percent younger voters - 31.6 percent. The portion of young voters who went to Newt Gingrich's and Rick Santorum's campaign sites came in at around 27 percent.
As for the President's site, Nielsen data shows unique visitors age 18-34 comprised just 17 percent. Gingrich's site attracted the largest portion of older visitors age 65 and higher - 20 percent.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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