Barack Obama vs. Hillary Clinton vs. John Edwards : Looking at Search Stats

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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

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):
hillary clinton

barack obama

john edwards


barak obama



One Alexa flaw is it cannot distinguish between subdomains. So, according to Alexa, and 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.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Durk Price

    Great work. It will really be interesting to see how this will all correlate at election time. The tracking tools are getting so good and trends will move so fast that only the Internet junkis will ahve any idea what is really going on.

  • AdamD has been through another presidential campaign, too. That could have a factor, as well.

    It looks like Obama is hedging his bets and getting a head start on his next Senate race. He already has a presence at, showing he has some sort of SEO people working for him.

  • Larry Shuniak

    Health care is number one. 46 million people can not be bad. The system is broke lets fix it.

    If Edwards champions health care I will vote for him.

  • e.c.apaibinyesim

    I am more interested in how Obama and Clinton stack up on their voting records amongst those that like them or do not.

  • Anita Cohen-Williams

    The real test will be further along in the campaign, after the initial announcements.

  • A Marine

    It will be very interesting to see who wins the 2008 Presidential Elections. For me, its really hard to decide who I want to run. I like Obama because he speaks intelligently and he is a democrat. I like Clinton because she is a woman and a democrat. But Obama seems more intelligent on the military side where Clinton is more intelligent on the Health Care, Social Security, and taxes side. What is really unique is that if Obama wins he will be the first “black” President and if Clinton wins she will be the first woman President. To me, it will be strange to a have a female commander-in-chief. Does a female seem fit for the commander-in-chief position? Or better yet, does Clinton seem fit for the commander-in-chief position? I can forsee this election having tight votes.

  • Mr. Plunkett

    The questions seems to be, can America except a woman or a black man in office as a presidential leader? Though that shouldn’t be the question. For those of spiritual faith regardless of the religon, there has not ever been a country, nation, or world power that was judged upon its great economics, education, welfare reform, male, female, white or black leader. It was always based upon Values, morals and the life style of the nations citizens. Please everyone keep that in mind. Jesus Loves you. Rom 10.9 …that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

  • http://Donthaveone Ty

    This stuff is very interesing

  • maurice nadin

    As an englishman with relatives in the U.S.A. I
    am very interested in your thoughts for the
    2008 election. I knew margarey roberts before she became mrs. thatcher and a tough bullet
    she was

  • Jim T
  • Martin McCormick

    Mr. Plunkett: “accept” rather than “except”.

    Unfortunately, the perceptions other countries have towards the U.S. are strongly shaped by our leader. If Hillary was elected president it is likely that we would aggravate our poor image in the Middle East even further.

  • Scrutions

    I need reshearch on Obama and Clinton

  • Uncle Rocky

    hey if you need some info on the barack obama hollywood experience check this site out.

    Uncle Rocky

  • Uncle Rocky

    sorry wrote the wrong url. this is the correct one

  • Nascar

    Wow, it would be kind of funny to use these stats to predict the winner of nominations, and even goes as far as determining the winner of the presidency. That is the power of search engine stats.

  • Genie

    this is gayyyyyyyyyy 😀

  • Spring

    Obama is whoopin hilary’s ass

  • Fred

    Hey Loren , good to see that people are at least interested in the candidates. I hope they are sorting out enough truth to make an informed decision and vote with their head and not by all the campaign BS. Fred