As the two major presidential candidates, John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL), battle state-by-state for votes, the Internet has become an increasingly critical outreach method, according to a recent report from Nielsen Online. “Campaigns are no longer dabbling online,” says Jon Gibs, vice president, media analytics, Nielsen Online. “We expect a candidate’s Web presence to be an integral part of both campaigns.”
Both campaigns are spending money on image-based ads and sponsored links in order to reach active web users over 18. Nielsen Online reports that 89% of active web users are registered voters.
While both sites have video and social networking tools, Nielsen Online data collected for May 2008 shows Senator Obama’s site traffic outpacing that of Senator McCain’s by roughly four-to-one, with 2.3 million unique visitors to barackobama.com. The full report [pdf] also details party affiliation among registered voters and the top blogs mentioning the candidates.