Barack Obama is filing his campaign papers and beginning his exploratory committee which basically means that leading up to the 2008 Presidential Election, Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are the expected top front runners (that is, if Hillary runs).
A search for “Barack Obama” leads to his Senatorial web page listed #1 on Google. For “Hillary Clinton“, the same. If you search for “John Edwards“, who rounds out the front runners, his campaign homepage is the first result in Google.
So, as a pre-campaign comparison to see who is stirring up the most online interest, let’s look at some online traffic & search comparison tools:
Google Trends shows that Obama and Edwards are showing the most search related interest, and some interesting stats for Obama.
Basically, everyone knows how to spell John Edwards or Hillary Clinton, but Barack has one of those unique names (like my own) which is very easy to misspell.
I did a Google Trends search for hillary clinton, barack obama, john edwards, obama, and barak obama.
The end result shows the Obama peaks are quite similar for his full name, last name, and misspelled first name (something his campaign and the opposition can use to their advantage in Google bombing, paid search and SEO):
One Alexa flaw is it cannot distinguish between subdomains. So, according to Alexa, obama.senate.gov and clinton.senate.gov are the same webpage.
However, a Alexa search for the campaign pages of each candidate shows that the interest and traffic for Barack Obama is currently growing to a peak that Edwards did not even approach when he announced his candidacy. Interest in Clinton is not very much of a factor.
Why not? People know who Clinton & Edwards are. Obama, to some, may still either be a mystery or such an interesting candidate that people want to read more about him.
Bill Tancer of Hitwise put together a Obama Clinton comparison based upon the traffic to their senate sites, which are #1 for their names in Google, and also did a geographic interest comparison.
In light of today’s news that Barack Obama is filing campaign papers today for the 2008 Presidential election, I’ve assembled a quick chart comparing the popularity of Obama compared to Clinton based on search queries for the two potential candidates.
No surprise there and if Bill can put together a chart with John Edwards I would appreciate it. I think what is of most interest are the geographic areas which each candidate is generating the most interest:
Barack Obama : Illinois, California, Ohio, Florida, Michigan
Hillary Clinton : New York, Kansas, New Jersey, Hawaii, Missouri
Both are attracting high online interest in their home states. But look at the breakdown of Obama in terms of population and political rally states which would win the primary and general elections… California, Ohio, Florida, Michigan vs. Kansas, New Jersey, Hawaii and Missouri.
Hands down, Barack has the advantage in online search generated geographic interest.
It’s way too early to gauge the popularity of each candidate via search traffic and site popularity measurement, but as the campaigns heat up this and next year, using such measurement tools as Technorati, Alexa, Google Trends, Hitwise, Compete and others should be able to gauge the popularity and interest of the voter base.
If you have any more tips for measurement tools and ideas for political search comparisons, please feel free to comment below.