02_Elements/Icons/ArrowLeft Back to Insight
Insights > Media

Prez Battle Flourishes Online During Political Conventions

2 minute read | September 2008

Vice-presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin may be in the headlines, but the chatter in the blogosphere remains focused on the presidential candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, according to Nielsen Online.

Online Buzz

An analysis by Nielsen of the online discussions around more than 30 speakers at the Democratic and Republican conventions showed Obama leading McCain, followed by Palin and Sen. Hillary Clinton.  Vice-presidential candidate, Sen. Joe Biden, rounded out the top five most buzzworthy politicians.

Rank Speaker Index
1 Barack Obama 100
2 John McCain 97
3 Sarah Palin 80
4 Hillary Clinton 33
5 Joe Biden 26
6 George W. Bush 12
7 Michelle Obama 12
8 Bill Clinton 11
9 Cindy McCain 5
10 Ted Kennedy 5
11 Nancy Pelosi 4
12 Mitt Romney 4
13 Al Gore 4
14 Joe Lieberman 4
15 Rudy Giuliani 3
16 Fred Thompson 3
17 Mike Huckabee 3
18 Laura Bush 2
19 Jimmy Carter 2
20 Mark Warner 2
Source: The Nielsen Company. Nielsen’s analysis is based on online consumer discussions between August 25 and 29, 2008 for DNC speakers and from Sept. 1 to 5, 2008 for RNC speakers.
Speakers are ranked by online buzz, with the top speaker indexed at 100.

Online Traffic

Web traffic to BarackObama.com increased 32% during the week of the Democratic National Convention.  During the same period, traffic to McCain’s website increased 242%, perhaps driven by the announcement, late in the week, of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Still, traffic to Obama’s site outpaced traffic to McCain’s site by a two-to-one ratio in the week ending August 31.

Site Unique Audience

Week Ending Aug. 24


Unique Audience

Week Ending Aug. 31


BarackObama.com 2,617 3,445 32%
JohnMcCain.com 524* 1,791 242%
Source: The Nielsen Company, custom analysis (August 18, 2008 – August 31, 2008)
*This website does not meet minimum sample size standards. Projected and average measures for this site may exhibit large changes as a result.

Online Advertising

John McCain’s campaign increased its online advertising in August, with image-based impressions up by 254% month-over-month and sponsored search links up by 43%.

Barack Obama’s campaign placed fewer online ad impressions during the same time period, reducing image-based impressions by 48% and sponsored links by 18%.

View the full media alert.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in TV Week, The Boston Globe, Condé Nast Portfolio, and Silicon Alley Insider.

Related tags:

Continue browsing similar insights

Our products can help you and your business

  • Consumer & Media View

    Access syndicated and custom consumer research that will help you shape successful brand, advertising and marketing…

  • NCSolutions

    Maximize CPG advertising effectiveness with data to better segment, optimize and enable sales-based outcomes.