Judging the Candidates by the Company They Keep

In politics, as in life, birds of a feather do indeed flock together. By analyzing the online behavior of voters attracted to each presidential candidate, a telling picture emerges of where the candidates fall across the political spectrum and degree to which they are appealing to their respective bases in advance of the party nomination contests. Rather than parse through what the candidates say, the focus of this analysis is on what their online supporters do.

The following table highlights the percent of a candidate’s website visitors in September who frequented any of the top liberal or conservative blogs during the same month. These readership percentages were then compared (liberal % divided by conservative % in this instance) and sorted to create the ranking.


  • Ardent anti-war candidate Dennis Kucinich can claim victory for being the "Most Liberal" candidate. Visitors to his website were nearly 3 times as likely to read liberal rather than conservative blogs.
  • Fred Thompson‘s official entry into the Republican contest in September unleashed a tidal wave of conservative support, helping him secure the title of "Most Conservative" in these rankings. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee‘s success at last week’s Values Voter Summit, however, in addition to unfavorable reviews of Thompson’s campaign to date, signal a tough road lies ahead for the South’s "favorite son."
  • Despite coming from the bluest state in the nation, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney appears to be succeeding at convincing conservatives that he is one of their own.
  • While Republicans have been quick to brand Hillary Clinton as a far left liberal, she is actually less liberal that all of her rivals. Clinton is campaigning beyond her base to the broader electorate as though she has already secured her party’s nomination.
  • Internet darling Ron Paul is attracting significant interest from the left, leapfrogging even Hillary Clinton. Of course with partisans like Bill Maher supporting him, it is no surprise that rank and file conservatives are less than enthusiastic about Paul’s candidacy.
About Matt Pace:
As VP of Millward Brown Digital’s financial services, retail and consumer products practices, Matt is responsible for vertical growth and strategy and the delivery of digital insights and best practice marketing consulting to leading Fortune 500 advertisers. Follow Matt on Twitter @mattpace.

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