The Race for Campaign Site Visitors

The Race for Campaign Site Visitors

With the 2012 political season in full swing, Americans are flocking to the Internet for news surrounding the presidential candidates. So which candidate sites are drawing the most visitors? Nielsen profiled the voter-aged (18+) audience to the official campaign sites of the five presidential candidates to find out how their visitors lean.

The state of the race…

Unique Visitors: Barack Obama

During January 2012, more American adults visited President Obama’s site than the four Republican candidates’ sites combined.

Female Visitors: Rick Santorum

Women made up over 60 percent of the audience to, the largest male/female split among the candidates.

Male Visitors: Ron Paul

Only Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich’s sites drew more men than women (56% and 51%, respectively), but wins this demo by 4.3 percentage points.

Visitors aged 18-34: Ron Paul

Ron Paul, the oldest of the 2012 presidential candidates, has the youngest visitors—over a third are 18-34.

Visitors over age 50: Barack Obama

More than half (52%) of President Obama’s visitors are over the age of 50, and those aged 50-64 are the most concentrated on his site.

Affluent Visitors: Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich’s audience is the most affluent and educated, as 27 percent make over $100K and half have a Bachelor’s or Post-Grad degree.

Hispanic Visitors: Mitt Romney

Hispanics made up 17 percent of the audience to, 37 percent more Hispanics than were active online during January 2012 (12%).

Nielsen_Presidential Candidates Sites v2

Nielsen also looked at the January 2012 audience among a selection of News & Information* sites that feature political content and found:

  • Google News has the highest concentration of visitors aged 18-34 (23 percent more 18-34 year-olds visited Google News in January 2012 than were active online).
  • Americans ages 35-49 are most likely to visit Politico and Drudge Report (31% more likely compared to their Internet average, respectively)
  • NPR has seen the largest growth in visitors since October (up 21%)
  • Over a quarter of visitors to Wall Street Journal Digital have a household income of $100K or more (28%)
  • Drudge Report visitors are the most likely to have a Bachelor’s degree, more than doubling the percentage of active Internet users with a Bachelor’s (36 percent of Drudge visitors compared to 17 percent of active Internet users)
  • Each of the candidates’ sites is more likely to attract Internet users with a Bachelor’s degree than a News & Information site.

*The 15 sites included in the News & Information analysis include: ABCNEWS Digital Network, CBS News Network, CNN Digital Network, Daily Kos,, Fox News Digital Network, Google News, HuffingtonPost, MSNBC Digital Network, NPR,, Politico,, Wall Street Journal Digital and Yahoo! News Websites