We live in the miracle of this
fantastically dizzying digital age. Because more than 274 million
Americans are connected to the Internet, you probably aren’t surprised
that we have converged upon the Internet for tidbits surrounding the
Even though Mitt Romney is the
presumed Republican nominee, it’s fascinating to see which candidates
attracted the most visitors to their sites.Nielsen recently profiled the
voter-age audience (18+) to see who was checking out which of the
then-five presidential candidates.
The extensive sample covered 15
different sites during January 2012, including ABCNEWS Digital Network,
CBS News Network, CNN Digital Network, Daily Kos, drudgereport.com, Fox
News Digital Network, Google News, Huffington Post, MSNBC Digital
Network, NPR, NYTimes.com, Politico, USATODAY.com, Wall Street Journal
Digital and Yahoo! News websites.
In January, President Obama’s site
received more unique American adult visitors than four Republican
candidates’ sites combined. ("Unique" is defined as unduplicated –
counting only once to a website over a specified time period – as
opposed to "new" or "returning.")
Hispanics comprised 17 percent of
MittRomney.com, compared to 12 percent during the month of January 2012.
RickSantorum.com attracted the lion’s share of women visitors (60
percent), which was the largest male/female split among the candidates.
Interestingly, 76-year-old Ron Paul
drew the youngest visitors. More than a third of his hits were from
members of the 18-34 group. Paul was almost neck-and-neck with Newt
Gingrich with male visitors, 56 percent and 51 percent respectively.
Gingrich’s website guests were the
most affluent and educated. Twenty-seven percent reported earnings of
more than $100,000 a year and half had either a bachelor’s or
Nielsen also focused on the News
& Information sites that feature political content. Google News wins
the race for the highest concentration of young visitors, those 18-24.
Survey results showed that 23 percent more 18-34 year olds visited
Google News in January 2012 than were active online.
• Americans 25-49 are most likely to visit Politico and Drudge Report (31 percent).
• NPR enjoyed the largest growth in visitors (up 21 percent since October 2011).
• 28 percent of visitors to Wall Street Journal Digital have a household income of $100,000 or more.
• Surfers who land on the Drudge
Report page were most likely to have a bachelor’s degree; more than
double the percentage of all active college grad Internet users (36
percent vs. 17 percent).
• College graduates were more likely to visit a specific candidate’s site than visit a News & Information site.
I’m always telling you that knowledge
is power, and stressing how you wield power as consumers and how
important it is that we use that power wisely. Read. Watch. Listen.
Learn. Make the most informed decision possible. The choice and power
are in your hands.
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is the senior
vice president of public affairs and government relations for The
Nielsen Company, a global information and measurement company.
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