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Daily Digest: Mapping the Primary Results

BY Joshua Levy | Tuesday, March 4 2008

We’re here at the Politics Online conference in Washington, D.C., seeing many of our good friends (and loyal readers) in person. Thus your fevered wait for today's digest.

The Web on the Candidates

  • If you aren’t up for staring at CNN.com and waiting for it to refresh all night long, Google’s mapping the primary results. Their tool has gotten better since Super Tuesday, and now you can zoom all the way down to the precinct level to locate results. Add in a little Politweets action for constant updates, and you can have a network-free night.

  • In an otherwise sharp piece about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s rapid video production skillz, New York Times reporter Brian Stelter calls Clinton’s “red telephone” ad (600,000 views on YouTube) and Obama’s mimicked retort (more than 200,000 views) “the first breakout hits of the YouTube campaign.” Really? After the Vote Different and Yes We Can videos, Hillary’s Sopranos spoof, Bill Richardson’s job interview ads, and other influential videos, these are the first hits?

  • Wired’s Sarah Lai Stirland continues the “Obama is Mac, Clinton is a PC” thread, which, she reminds us, started almost a year ago with Phil de Vellis’ Vote Different video, but she adds some complexity to the argument. “Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is trying to change the way politics operates in this country in the same paradigm-shifting fashion that Apple tried to change personal computing back in 1984,” she writes. But unlike Apple asking consumers to buy products, Obama needs voters to get involved in his campaign, and in politics in general. “Not just at the moment of inspiration, or on the campaign trail, but also consistently over time throughout the political process.”

  • A couple of weeks ago we reported that Dave Winer was looking for a way to aggregate -- and post as podcasts -- mp3’s of candidate/press conference calls. Swampland's Ana Marie Cox has posted a recording today, and we hear that Winer should get an RSS feed of the calls up shortly, which will make it really easy to grab hold of campaign spin, wrassle it to the ground, and force out the truth. Or something like that.

  • On this, possibly the biggest day of the campaign (didn’t we already say that about a month ago?), our Hitwise charts indicate that Barack Obama has by far the highest share of online traffic of all the candidates, with 48% of all traffic to candidate sites going to his. Hillary Clinton follows, with a share of 28%, followed by Mike Huckabee with 10%. Apparently John McCain is such a known quantity that, even though he’s the presumptive nominee, he’s getting less than 10% of all traffic.

  • While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to duke it out for the Democratic nomination, Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films has been steadily attacking John McCain in their stead, and people are watching. Over a million people have now viewed their anti-McCain videos. Pretty impressive.

  • Remember that mysterious pro-Clinton website called Hillaryis44 that attacked Obama way back in 2007, when no one dared do so? The Politico’s Ben Smith snuffed out the site’s creator. It’s Alex Rodriguez, the Yankee third-baseman a New York activist with no apparent connection to the Clinton campaign. Now you can sleep at night.

The Candidates on the Web

  • Barack Obama’s campaign sent out an email today boasting that their supporters have made over 1.5 million calls to voters “in today’s crucial primary states.” Obama’s handy phonebanking application is the tool behind the success, and they’ve renewed their effort to reach out to voters today — the application gives supporters a list of 20 Ohioans to call, which will no doubt help bump that number up towards 2 million calls.

In Case You Missed It…

Ari Melber and the Nation’s Susannah Vila discover that while Barack Obama may be the hottest politician online, when it comes to unfiltered Internet commentary, nobody beats John McCain. His official websites allow more dissent and tough feedback than any of the Democratic candidates. But is that by accident or design?