Now that the first CNN/YouTube sponsored debate is over, the results are in and it seems that the debate may have helped increase the hits on the official campaign sites for the participants of the Democratic debate.
Even though Hillary Clinton has been leading the recent polls, it seems that according to Hitwise, Barack Obama kept the lead in online traffic the two weeks ending July 21st and 28th. Yet his traffic market share fell 6% just after the airing on July 23rd.
John Edwards and Bill Richardson both experienced a loss in percentage points. Democratic hopeful Mike Gravel had a leap in points of 6.5% moving up from the 7th spot to the 4th spot.
The Republican candidates have seen increase as well. Mitt Romney was able to pass Rudy Giuliani and John McCain by July 21st. Romney’s campaign ranked second in May.
Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee saw increases while Duncan Hunter fell back a bit. Tommy Thompson claims less than 1% of the site traffic.
It is unclear if the rates drop is directly correlated to the participation in YouTube/CNN debates. Giuliani and Romney have both declined to participate in the Republican installment of the debates scheduled for September 17th.
Should Fred Thompson be included in the debate, contingent on his campaign becoming official, there may be alterations in the rankings among the Republican candidates.