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Presidential Candidate Thompson Surges On The Web

Republican Fred Thompson's Web site drew more that twice as many visitors as Barack Obama's site and more than three times as many as Hillary Clinton's site.
Move over Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Fred Thompson is attracting the most interest online now, and Ron Paul is nipping at Obama's heels, according to an online metrics company.

Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence company, announced that Republican presidential candidate Thompson's Web site drew more visits than any other candidate's site last week. Fred08.com accounted for 34% of U.S. visits to all presidential candidates' Web sites during the week ending Sept. 8.

Obama ranked second, with 13.94% of the share, while Paul beat Clinton with 12.88% of the visits. Clinton had 10.37%. John Edwards rounded out the top five list with 6.52% of the visits to presidential candidates' Web sites.

Thompson's male visitors outnumbered female visitors last week and accounted for 65.56% of the people clicking on his site. Just over 40% were 55 or older. More than one in ten (10.86%) was from Tennessee, according to Hitwise.

Traffic from select Web 2.0 Web sites including MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr, increased 205% to all the candidate websites in August 2007, compared to January 2007, Hitwise said.

Paul received the most traffic from Web 2.0 websites followed by Democrat candidates Obama and Clinton. "The online focus of the last presidential election was all about blogs and their effectiveness in communicating with potential voters," Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, said in a statement. "In the 2008 presidential election, the Internet's role is changing from a one-way communication channel to a two-way conversation enabled by social networking."

The Hitwise rankings are based on a custom category of Web sites for only those presidential candidates that have officially announced their candidacy. Candidates were ranked by U.S. market share of visits, which is the percentage of online traffic to the domain or category, from a sample of 10 million U.S. Internet users, Hitwise said.

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