Yesterday, I wondered about the enthusiasm gap for the Republican presidential candidates. Today, I happened upon an obscure but striking set of statistics that may bolster that supposition.
Nielsen tracks Web site traffic for the various presidential candidates.
Here are the stats for each candidate's Web site. They are the number of unique visitors in the month of January:
Ron Paul: 830,000 unique visitors
Mitt Romney: 773,000 unique visitors
Rick Santorum: 696,000 unique visitors
Newt Gingrich: 609,000 unique visitors
The kicker in all this is that President Obama’s campaign had 4.2 million unique visitors over the same month. Not only is that impressive in relation to his Republican rivals, but it stacks up very well versus some Web sites many political people use on a regular basis: 2.6 million a month for the Drudge Report; 1.9 million for Politico; 1.6 million for MSNBC.
It’s not clear to me whether this huge Obama advantage in Web site traffic says more about the weakness of the Republicans or the strength of the Obama digital strategy. But it is, as they say, another data point worth watching.