The 2008 Presidential election is still over a year away, but the campaign is in full swing. While it’s still far too early to make any predictions about who will win the nominations, we can gauge public interest pretty easily by looking at traffic to each candidate’s website. And with the help of some nifty mapping software that my colleague Max Freiert recently purchased, we can track those traffic patterns on a state-by-state level.
So here’s a look at level of interest by state, as measured by the total number of visits to each of the top Republican candidate’s sites over the past six months:
As expected, Romney sees high levels of traffic from Massachusetts and Utah, but there’s surprisingly little intensity from Michigan where Romney was born and where his father served three terms as governor. Romney also has heavy traffic from California, Texas, and Florida, three states rich in electoral votes.
Not surprisingly, interest in Rudy Giuliani is centered New York. But Giuliani also carves out a swath of heavy traffic from New Jersey west to Illinois, including Pennsylvania and Ohio. He also has decent representation in Florida, though the South as a whole seems to be more interested in other candidates.
Latecomer Fred Thompson is already seeing substantial interest across the south, especially from his home state of Tennessee. The main sites supporting Thompson, Fred08.com and ImWithFred.com, have only been live since March and June, respectively. In that short time frame Thompson has gained enough traffic to become a serious contender.
McCain sees relative strength from his home state of Arizona, as well as respectable showings in California and several states in the Northeast. But overall interest appears to be waning. The recent shake up of the maverick’s campaign might signal a new beginning, or the beginning of the end.
So that gives us an idea of where the traffic is coming from, but what if clicks were votes? If the Republican Party were to award delegates to candidates based on the number of people visiting from each state, the resulting map would look like this:
There’s no clear majority winner, but Mitt Romney takes the most delegates, fending off an impressive showing by Fred Thompson. Rudy Giuliani takes third, and John McCain comes in a disappointing and distant fourth. Since we can’t figure out a clever-enough method for conducting a runoff, we are ready to declare that Mitt Romney has won the "Republican Mid-Point 2007 Most People Visiting" primary. Congratulations, Mitt.
Come back tomorrow to see how the Democratic candidates stack up"¦
ATTENTION RON PAUL SUPPORTERS:
Ron Paul will be covered in a follow-up post in the near future. Please check back in to see how he fares.