Now that convention season is over and the candidates have about eight weeks before they find out who will lead the United States for the next four years, it’s time we compare each candidate’s attention online as we head into the final stretch.
According to Google Trends data, Republican candidate John McCain is quickly gaining ground on Barack Obama and witnessed a spike in searches the day he announced Sarah Palin as his running mate. However, Obama witnessed an even greater spike at the same time, perhaps due to his convention speech the night before and some comparative searches pertaining to Palin.
As online attention has shifted from Obama to McCain (and especially Sarah Palin), Hitwise is reporting that news and media outlets are also doing the same. According to Hitwise research, McCain’s coverage has jumped considerably in the past few days and more media outlets are sending readers to the candidate’s page. And although he still trails Obama, that gap is tightening each day.
For all the attention Obama and McCain are receiving though, neither has captivated the Web audience like Sarah Palin. According to Google Trends data, Palin’s search volume is more than double McCain’s and Obama’s, even after her initial spike.
Just because people are traveling to a specific candidate’s site or searching for them online, it doesn’t mean they will vote for them. But with such a contentious election underway that pits the red against the blue, it means at the very least that John McCain is gaining ground on Obama in the race for people’s attention.