Monday, July 21, 2008

Obama-Only Stories Outnumber McCain-Only Stories by Nearly 4 to 1

Original LinK:

by Patrick Ruffini

Today's Peggy Noonan column has a revealing statistic: in Google News there are currently 138,000 news articles on Barack Obama and 97,000 on John McCain.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The vast majority of campaign stories have to mention both candidates, if only to report on the other candidate's response to another's volley. This statistic alone tells us nothing about who's in the "lede."

So I decided to try an experiment.

I searched for stories that mentioned Obama but didn't mention McCain in Google News. 69,473 stories.

And stories that mention McCain but not Obama? 19,135.

That's a stunning 3.63 to 1 ratio. Read on.

A 3-to-1 ratio is confirmed by Yahoo! News, which is perhaps more selective about its sources. There, it's 26,098 Obama, 8,719 McCain.

In today's Internet age, this kind of disparity does not exist in a vacuum. It translates seamlessly into online activity, particularly search engine activity.

Not only has the media made an in-kind contribution of tens of millions of dollars in "free" media to Obama, but they have tangibly increased traffic to and are likely responsible for tens of millions in direct contributions to Obama. Currently, Obama holds an uncannily similar 3.35-to-1 advantage in Google search queries over the last 30 days.

Here's how it works. Free media drives search traffic. Search traffic drives website traffic. Website traffic drives contributions and signups who can later be resolicited for money.

The Obama campaign spends in seven figures monthly on paid search advertising on Google alone, and speaking from experience, they are probably making the money back many times over. Paid search alone is a significant source of revenue for the Obama campaign, and it is driven by the media.

There is a direct correlation between media coverage and money. The reason why Obama can go private is because of the tens of thousands of surplus media stories he is getting.

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