Online Buzz Focused on Presidential Candidates, McCain Bests Obama on TV

September 8, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Hispanic | Media & Entertainment | Men | Television | Women

Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin may be in the headlines, but online consumer discussion remains focused (pdf) on presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, whose acceptance speech bested Obama’s record-breaking viewership numbers, Nielsen reports.

An analysis of buzz around more than 30 speakers at the recent Democratic and Republican national conventions showed Obama with a slight lead over McCain, followed by Palin and Hillary Clinton.


Vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden rounded out the top five with just over one-quarter as much buzz as Obama.

Television Audiences

McCain’s acceptance speech bested Obama’s by 500,000 viewers, according to Nielsen: 38.9 million watched the final night of GOP convention coverage, compared with 38.4 million viewers for Democrats.


For the third night in a row, more women (19.2 million) than men (17.9 million) watched the RNC coverage. However, more men watched McCain’s speech than Obama’s, whereas Obama drew more women than McCain.


More white viewers watched McCain’s speech – 32.2 million vs. 27 million for Obama – but more African Americans watched Obama’s speech – 7.5 million vs. 3.1 million for McCain’s speech.

Web Traffic

As might be expected, traffic to increased (32%) during the week of the Democratic National Convention, but traffic to John McCain’s site increased 242% during the same period, when he named Sarah Palin as his running mate late in the week.


Despite that surge, traffic to Obama’s site still outpaced McCain’s nearly two to one in the week ended August 31.

Online Advertising

John McCain’s campaign stepped up its online advertising in August, particularly in image-based impressions, which increased 254% month-over-month. Sponsored search links were also up for the McCain camp -?by 43%.


In contrast, the Barack Obama campaign placed fewer online ad impressions in August, with image-based impressions down 48% and sponsored links down 18%.


Explore More Articles.

Marketing Charts Logo

Stay on the cutting edge of marketing.

Sign up for our free newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This